If you follow my musings even in the slightest, you are probably aware of my intense, almost fanatic, passion for all things Ohio State and my intense, almost obsessive, passion for all things craft beer.
Although the undefeated Ohio State football team is ineligible for the BCS Bowl Game Series, it is sill one of my favorite times of year. Forget the ball dropping in Times Square, the highlight of my New Years celebration has been, and will always be, the Rose Bowl.
In my opinion, very few things in this world pair best with (college) football than craft beer and artisan potato chips.
As a slow foodie, champion of sustainability, and lover of all things salty and crunchy, Kettle is my favorite brand of chips. And, it was my favorite even before I became friends with the company and started this project. In fact, our friendship became through sharing my love of Kettle Chips on Twitter.
Kettle Chips is not only my favorite brand because of its delicious range of flavors, but also because they make chips using only the finest all-natural, non-GMO ingredients (I’m super against GMO’s). They do not use trans fats, MSG, artificial colors or flavors, or any ingredients that you cannot pronounce or need to Google to find out what they are.
But that’s not all folks. In 2007, Kettle Brand® opened the first LEED® Gold certified food manufacturing plant in the U.S. They also use both wind power and solar power to fuel the plant and 100% of the waste vegetable oil from the Kettle production process is converted into biodiesel. For more information on Kettle’s sustainability initiative, visit this link.
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.”)
So, without further ado – let’s kick off the series with my favorite one of them all – the Rose Bowl.
Rose Bowl 2013 – Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Nicknamed “The Granddaddy of Them All” - the Rose Bowl is the oldest bowl game. The Rose Bowl hosts the Big Ten and Pacific-12 conference champions unless they are involved in the national championship game.
Rose Bowl Kettle Chip: Cheddar & Beer
Who can resist the hearty flavors of the Midwest? Robust and malty beer notes are layered on this chip with extra sharp and tangy cheese for a perfect balance that goes down smooth. Limited 30th Anniversary batch.
Rose Bowl Beer Pairing: American Pale Ale
Two words come to mind when I think of Wisconsin – cheddar & beer. Its no secret that beer loves cheese - especially sharp flavored ones like cheddar. For this particular chip, I went with a classic American Pale Ale. The malt flavors in the beer directly compliment the malt flavors in the chips, while the pine and citrus notes in the American hop varietals shine with the salty and fatty flavors from the Cheddar cheese. This is also a perfect match-up for the Rose Bowl since California (home of both Standford and the Rose Bowl) is technically the “grandfather” state of the American Pale Ale.
Wisconsin Fan Recommendations: New Glarus Moon Man Pale Ale, LakeFront Cream City Pale Ale, Horney Goat Hopped Up N’ Horney, Sprecher Extra Pale Ale.
Stanford Fan Recommendations: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Firestone Walker Pale 31, Stone Pale Ale, 21st Amendment Bitter American.
Wench’s Rose Bowl Pick:Wisconsin
Although Stanford did a badass job of upsetting USC early in the season and then dethroning Oregon later in the season, my heart and gut always has me cheering for the Big Ten. Wisconsin may have looked weak earlier in the season, but after annihilating Nebraska (70-31) in the Big Ten Conference Championship, I’m quite certain that have what it takes to win in Pasadena. Not to mention, Wisconsin’s loss of a head coach just might be the best thing that has happened to them all year. The return of legendary coach Barry Alvarez almost guarantees the Badgers a win in the Rose Bowl. My pick goes to the Big Ten Badgers.