The Smartest Beer Pairing For Plain Potato Chips

It's hard to think of a better snacking combo than potato chips and a beer. After a long day, few comforts hit quite like a bite of a crispy fried spud, followed by a sip of a cold, carbonated brew. However, as with other of life's most pleasurable moments, there are always options. Say you got a plain potato chip in hand but a vast beer selection to choose from. Don't overthink it — just go for a pilsner. The refreshing, clean, but slightly bitter brew perfectly counterbalances the potato's saltiness.

With this in mind, steer away from pairing plain chips with bolder beer styles. Flavor-packed brews like IPAs and bitters need more of a standout flavor in their paired crisp, such as sour cream and onion or jalapeño. And high ABV beers — like quadrupels and imperial stouts — are so satiating and robust in taste that they risk overpowering a plain potato chip and are best enjoyed alone. 

A pilsner makes the perfect partner to plain potato chips

Pilsner's combination of artesian water, malts, and hops yields an intricate brew distinct from any other style, and it comes in in varying types: American, Belgian, Czech, and German. As opposed to IPAs, its malt and hop content is nearly equal — creating a flavor balanced with notes of bitterness, sweetness, and maltiness. Such a palate means the beer meshes especially well with savory foods, specifically plain potato chips or even fried cheese in the Czech Republic.  

A chip with a bolder flavors like barbecue, salt and vinegar, cheddar and sour cream may distract from the pilsner, so stick to the plain type. However, when it comes to picking your chips, the texture of the crisp is malleable. Don't be afraid to pair with a variety of styles and brands, such as the extra crispy Lay's-style snack, a light popchip, or even a kettle cooked chip for maximum crunch. So mix and match amongst the possibilities to create your own perfect pair — there's bound to be a home favorite.