either softbound or Kindle/Nook/etc. eBook at Amazon
Pairing of Two Products Review: I Heart Keenwah Sweet Chili
Quinoa Puffs paired with Metropolitan Brewing Flywheel Bright Lager
by John Beske
11:00 on a Friday evening, and I’m pretty bleary from a long day of
trying to teach myself a new web-building platform. I’ve had it with
trying to decipher all these lines of code and pages of instructions,
but too wired to go to bed. On the plus side, there is a bottle of beer
with a stylin’ Art Deco-ish label sitting in the fridge and a bag of I
Heart Keenwah puffs on a nearby counter – a perfect late night snack.
Of course, they’re waiting for me because I have to write a review of
how these two consumables taste together, but hey, compared to what
I’ve been doing for the last sixteen hours or so, this is easy – and
Our family been munching a lot of I Heart Keenwah snacks lately, and we have nothing but good things to say about them (as we have in the past).
There are a lot of seriously tasty products in their line, and while I
normally try to avoid eating too many snacks, these all have
ingredients that even a cardiologist would love.
This particular bag contains Sweet Chili Quinoa Puffs.
I pop a couple of the marble-sized puffs in my mouth while I’m digging
around for the bottle opener (In my younger, less healthy days I used
to put away a quite a lot of beer, but now it’s a rare treat so the
opener has gotten buried in the back of the drawer). My first
impression of the puffs is how different contrasting flavors come at me
in waves. At the first touch on the tip of my tongue, there is a
familiar and friendly sweetness, but that is quickly replaced by the
powdery mix of jalapeño and habañero peppers that light up the center
of my mouth, followed by a gentle wafting of onion and garlic that melt
back into the sweetness while the spicy peppers dissipate like the
vapor trails after a fireworks display. Meanwhile the crunchy texture
of the puffs dissolve into a melt-y blanket that tamps out the fire it
Now it’s time to add the beer into the mix. I have to admit that as I
have approached middle age, drinking beer has become a ritual of
quality over quantity, so instead of ripping through a 12-pack of Old
Milwaukee, I would prefer a couple of bottles of a rich brown ale from
a regional artisan brewer. As a result, I became the worst kind of a
beer snob, which is one who has deep opinions without a lot of actual
knowledge to back it up. Since most of the popular mass-produced beers
were either lagers or pilsners, I passed over both types in favor of
the more trendy ales and stouts (avoiding the ones processed with
isinglass and other nonvegan ingredients, of course). So other than a
couple of plastic cups of Budweiser at some random keggers, I haven’t
drank a lager in years, and I really wasn’t expecting much from the Metropolitan Flywheel Bright Lager.
But I was very pleasantly surprised by the richness and depth of this
beer. Instead of being overwhelmed by the taste explosion that had just
happened in my mouth, the bold bright taste of the Flywheel took charge
by offering a harmonious complement to the quinoa puffs, like a
Stratocaster solo layered over a calypso.
Like I Heart Keenwah, Metropolitan Brewery
is based in Chicago and just as I Heart Keenwah challenges our
attitudes about snack foods, Metropolitan is changing attitudes about
lager beer. Their selection of lagers range from the bright Flywheel to the inky black Magnetron, which their website describes as being "darker than Satan's soul". And since
they use German brewing standards, all their beers are naturally vegan.
As I worked my way though both the bottle and the bag, alternating sips
and crunches, the harmonious music continued with the fireworks
overhead and the sweetness below. I felt a tinge of disappointment when
the beer ran out since that was my only bottle, but my writing would
probably have gotten sloppier had I continued drinking, so it’s just as
well. And after a couple more minutes the chips were gone as well. But
in that short time, it felt like a party, even as I was wiping pepper
dust off my fingers so I could type out this review as I ate and drank.
All in all, mixing Metropolitan Flywheel Bright Lager with I Heart
Keenwah Sweet Chili Quinoa Puffs is about a sophisticated and
multilayered experience that one can expect from a bag of chips and a
bottle of beer.
Vegan Street received this product for free to review and this was my honest evaluation.
2013-2016, Vegan Street