In my opinion, very few things in this world pair best with (college) football than craft beer and artisan potato chips.
In honor of the BCS Bowl Game Series, I partnered with Kettle Brand® to create 5 kick-ass craft beer & chip pairings for each of the major 5 bowl games. (Technically, only 5 games – Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, Championship Game – are a part of the BCS Bowl Series. The other games are considered to be “invitationals.”)
I kicked the series off with my picks for the 2013 Rose Bowl. You can read my chip & beer paring recommendations as well as my winning pick for the game here. But today, we discuss the Orange Bowl.
2013 Orange Bowl - Florida State vs. N. Illinois
The Orange Bowl is played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. It has been played annually since January 1, 1935. Since 2007 the Orange Bowl has been host to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champion unless they are involved in the national championship game.
This year, one team selected for the Orange Bowl caused quite the outrage from sports commentators and fans alike. After winning the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championship against Kent St., Northern Illinois secured the 15th spot in the BCS rankings, finishing the season with a 12-1 record. The aforementioned achievements then gave the Huskies an automatic spot in the Orange Bowl over the higher ranked, and arguably much better, teams of the SEC and Big12. Top ranked Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Oklahoma were all shut out from the BCS Bowl Series - while the little MAC school finally got its chance to play in one of the largest and most important bowl games in the country.
Orange Bowl Kettle Chip: Backyard BBQ
Playing in its “backyard” city Miami, the Seminoles have some serious home team advantage in this game. Get it…. backyard? Backyard BBQ?
And how could you not love the flavor of Kettle’s Backyard Barbeque®? Smoky, spicy, tangy and sweet - it’s the perfect flavor combination. This flavor is definitely in my top five!
Orange Bowl Beer Pairing: Black IPA
Just like this year’s Orange Bowl, the Black IPA has sparked quite the controversy in the the craft beer community regarding its name. Technically, the style has already been named and defined by the Brewers Association as the American-style Black Ale. Some argue that it should be called a Cascadian Dark Ale. But that is a conversation for another time.
The Black IPA is essentially an IPA brewed with the addition of dark specialty malts resulting in a dark brown to black-colored, moderate to intensely-hopped ale with a hint of roasted malt flavor.
Black IPAs are one of my favorite beer pairings for BBQ food. The dark, roasted malts compliment the smoky flavors in the chips, while the sweet and tart flavors help to balance the hop bittnerness in the beer.
FSU Fan Recommendations: Cigar City Either Black Ale, Cigar City Or Black Ale
NIU Fan Recommendations: Half Acre Sticky Fat
Both Fan Recommendations: 21st Amendment Back in Black, Alaskan Black IPA, Ten Barrel S1NIST0R Black Ale, Deschutes Hop in the Dark (CDA)
Wench’s Orange Bowl Pick: Florida State University
As much as I love rooting for the underdog (like how I chose Wisconsin over Stanford), the outcome of this game, in my opinion, is a no-brainer. Although the Huskies have pretty decent quarterback in Jordan Lynch, they are entering the Orange Bowl, without a head coach, against a team that had its eyes set on the National Championship just a few months back. My pick goes to the ‘Noles.