There is endless potential for beer and food pairings, but there is one popular pairing that everyone loves: beer and pizza. Lotte Peplow, the Brewers Association’s American Craft Beer Ambassador for Europe, takes a closer look at beer and pizza pairings.
The variety of pizza toppings available means that different beer styles can interact in different ways with each component part. You may find that one style works with the prominent ingredients of the topping, while another style echoes the toast of the crust.
Here’s a guide to pairing beer with pizza:
Margherita + pilsner or lager
A crisp, clean Helles or pilsner lager with a high level of carbonation will scrub the palate clean of greasy cheese and cut through the fat content while a Dunkel with a lightly toasted malt backbone will complement the pizza crust.
Beer suggestion: Oskar Blues Brewery Mamas Little Yella Pils or Oskar Blues Slow Chill Dunkel Lager
Vegetarian + pale ale
Veggie toppings vary wildly – earthy mushrooms, salty cheese, bitter spinach. Try a beer that is versatile enough to resonate with each flavor but is not overshadowed by the acidity of the tomato base.
Pepperoni + IPA
Hops will enhance the spiciness of the pepperoni and cut through the grease, so go for a robust, big-hitting, hoppy IPA. Strongly flavored and spicy toppings should be paired with an equally strong and flavorsome beer. Hoppy IPAs balance the saltiness of the meat helping to refresh the palate.
Hawaiian: + gose
Ham and tropical pineapple pair well with the fruity notes of gose while the gentle tartness balances the sweetness of the pineapple and the salty note brings out the salinity of the ham.
Spicy Meat Feast + stout
Sweet malty notes echo the intense, meaty flavors of the topping and calm the heat of the spice. The savory or umami flavors of the pizza will be balanced by the chocolatey, roasted, richness of a full-bodied stout.
Beer suggestions: New Holland Brewing Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout or a brown ale for something lighter and more approachable.
American craft beer is widely perceived as having a bigger, bolder, and more complex flavor. What could be the reason? American craft beer benefits from the use of high-quality raw materials, technical brewing expertise, relentless innovation and an unswerving commitment to quality, ensuring that it reaches the beer drinker exactly as the brewer intended. In fact, American craft beer regularly wins top honors at international beer competitions awarded by some of the best judging palates in the industry.For more information and pairing ideas visit www.craftbeer.com or visit www.brewersassociation.org.