Few things mean fun and celebration the way pizza does. It is ideal for a night in at home or for a fancy dinner. Pair it with the perfect beer, and you have a match made in heaven and an enjoyable meal, no matter the occasion. But just like pairing the ideal beer with a juicy, buttery steak, knowing what flavor profiles go well together when selecting your beer and pizza will enhance the flavors.
Read on to learn why beer and pizza are an ideal match and which ones to select together the next time you are ready to chow down on some good eats.
Why does beer taste good with pizza?
Beer and pizza, just like wine and pizza, can be a match made in heaven if you choose the right flavors to consume together. Pizza and alcohol just seem to go together. For some people, the pair is anchored in tradition. Just like a Friday night pizza is the perfect way to welcome in the weekend, a glass of your favorite brew helps you say goodbye to your weekday worries.
For others, the pizza and alcohol pairing comes down to flavor. The fresh, crisp flavor of beer cuts through the creamy cheese, enhances the herbs in the pizza sauce and balances the acidity. The doughy pizza can help you knock back an extra drink safely, as the bread works to absorb the alcohol and keep you from getting tipsy. When selecting your next beer and pizza feast for a night of fun and relaxation, keep the following pairings in mind, and you’ll be dining in style with enjoyable flavors in each bite and sip.
What beer to pair with…
The classic Margherita pizza is a simple choice that works as both an appetizer or main course. Because the mozzarella cheese is the star of this pie, you need a beer that will let the creaminess shine. Selecting a pale ale, like Cigar City Guayabera Citra, is a subtle choice with light tones that enhance the creamy mozzarella. The crisp flavor you’ll find while sipping the pale ale will balance out the cheesiness in this pizza, ensuring you grab a second slice.
Pepperoni Pizza or Meat Lover’s
If you like the juicy, greasy, spicy flavors mixed in with your pizza, you’ll need a strong beer to balance out and cut through the spice. For anyone who likes the classic pepperoni pizza, or a hefty slice topped with your favorite meats, go for an India Pale Ale (IPA). Spiteful Pequod’s IPA pairs perfectly with spicy pepperoni and balances out the saltiness of any meat.
Canadian Bacon and Pineapple
Those that like a little sweetness in their pizza, like Canadian bacon and pineapple, will fare well choosing a beer with hints of fruitiness. A fruit-based ale, such as the Blue Moon (Belgian White), is a superb choice to help enhance the flavors you get from the Hawaiian pizza. The subtle sweetness of the Valencia orange flavor in the Blue Moon compliments the pineapple topping and provides the perfect contrast to the salty Canadian bacon topping.
Mushrooms have a distinct flavor when baked. The earthiness you get when topping your pizza with mushrooms goes perfectly with a bright lager. BuckleDown Brewing Cactus Pants lager is a hearty choice that holds up well to the meaty mushrooms and can balance out the flavors in the sauce. If you like to add a little spice to it with some jalapenos, select a beer like Lagunita’s Little Sumpin’ Sumpin. This IPA enhances both savory and sweet, ensuring the cheese, sauce, and toppings aren’t lost in the spicy jalapeno flavors.
Any veggie pizza goes great with a lager or pilsner. Veggie pizzas, typically loaded with peppers, onions, olives, and spinach, need something a little less bitter to let the flavors all surface. The Krombacher (a German Pilsner) has a crisp flavor that goes well with the sweet peppers and creamy cheese. It allows for all the diverse veggie flavors to take the lead while cutting out the saltiness you’ll catch in the sauce and cheese, leaving you with a refreshing meld of flavors.
The Works Pizza
A pizza that has a little bit of everything needs a drink that packs a punch and can match the mix of flavors. Goose Island 312 rises to the occasion and has the perfectly lemony flavor to keep up with all the different toppings on a hefty pizza. A refreshing fruity flavor follows the lemon-and-hops flavors that initially come through melt away. These flavors will highlight the sweet pepper taste on your pizza while balancing the salty meats on something like a Supreme or Works pizza.
Best Wine for Pizza
A good rule of thumb when selecting wine for your pizza is to match the sauces. If you have a creamy sauce on your pizza, you’ll want to opt for a lighter white wine. A pizza with a seafood topping, or chicken topping, will be enhanced by a glass of Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc. A deep red sauce, like marinara, should drive you toward something more full-bodied, like the Dreaming Tree pinot noir.
And if you prefer a simple pepperoni pizza, you can’t go wrong by ordering a glass, or bottle, of 7 Moons Dark Side red blend. This wine will balance the salty and spicy pepperoni while allowing the cheese to shine through.
So there you have it. Pequod’s Pizza has just shared with you our insider’s method to selecting the best beer to pair with your next pizza. In general, you want to match your drink’s intensity with the flavors on your toppings. A little sweetness on your pizza will call for a beer or wine with fruity undertones. Keep your brew light when you have a pizza with few toppings and more intense when you pile the topping on your pizza. What do you think of our list? Did we miss your favorite flavor mash-up? If we did, let us know! Leave a message, and we’ll be happy to check out your suggestions. Then, order your favorite Pequod’s Pizza and try a new brew.