Fresh out of the oven or right out of the fridge—no heating necessary—pizza is a delight. Top it with anything. Eat it any time. But what should you pair it with? Beer, of course. Below, we’ll run through a couple tips to help you get the most out of your next beer/pizza pairing.
SIMPLE CHEESE PIZZA
The simplest iteration of pizza is topped with tomato sauce and cheese. A good place to start. You’ll want a beer with relatively high carbonation to cut through however many different varieties of gooey cheese your pizza is topped with. Our suggestion would be a 4-5% ABV beer with a dry flavor profile like a Pilsner or wheat beer. We’d caution against a beer with thick mouthfeel and lower carbonation—like a stout or high-ABV IPA. Its creamier mouthfeel won’t have that same “cleansing” effect that lighter beers have. An effect that seems to prime your palate for the next bite. Especially if you’ve opted for a more subdued pizza like a margherita, you’ll want a lighter, more balanced beer. That way, the wide range of flavors in the beer will have room to develop and play against the salty, slight acidity in the sauce and mozzarella.
PIZZA WITH ROBUST TOPPINGS
With more robustly flavored pizzas—think toppings like pepperoni, prosciutto, or buffalo chicken—we’d recommend reaching for a hoppier beer. That addition of extra citrusy, piney, resinous notes will help to make sure your beer pairing isn’t overshadowed by the heat and heavy spice of ingredients like italian cured meats. But like we said above, don’t go too far down the hop rabbit hole, or you’ll start to get into double or triple IPAs which tend to have a heavier mouthfeel and sweeter finish, without that dry, refreshing carbonation you’ll be looking for.
- A lighter beer with some notable hop notes – Allagash River Trip
- A hop-forward beer like a pale ale – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale