When we eat pizza, it seems natural to pair it with beer. Beer and pizza just kind of belong together. No matter whether you are an experienced beer drinker or a novice, the best way to determine what beer to serve with any type of pizza is to try to harmonize the flavors of the beer with those of the pizza.
A heavier beer is better suited to a heavy pizza than it is to a very light one, and a lighter beer such as some of the pale ales or India pale ales are ideally suited to lighter pizzas.
Simpler pizzas that are prepared with an olive oil base, a tomato base and topped with simpler ingredients like spinach, basil and just cheese lend themselves to a wider range of choices because the flavor of the beer won’t get lost within the flavors of the pizza.
The best way to think about pairing beers and pizza is to use the basic common sense principle that mild beers are best suited to subtle foods. Heavy beers such as stout or porter are best suited to heavier foods such as meats and potatoes.
Another way to think about pairing beer and pizza is to consider flavors that harmonize well. Contrasting flavors is another good way to try different beers.
Two websites, Brew-Monkey.com and FineLiving.com both recommend Amber Ales as the best beer to drink with Pizza. Brew Monkey also recommends ESB which can be either Early Spring Beer or Extra Special Bitter Beer. Other experts suggest Wheat Beers or Pilsner’s. We live in a day and age where pretty much anything goes, so people tend to choose what feels right to them at any given moment.
CHOOSE ALES –
Ales seem to be the best choice for beers because there is a range from lighter ales, such as blonde and pale ales, to darker and more flavorful ales that are amber, brown or given other designations, and the variety means that there is a greater likeihood that among these choices, everyone can find something suited to their tastes.
Here are some suggestions as to various beers that are ideally suited to pizza.
RECOMMENDED ALES –
This list goes from the lighter ales to the heaviest ales.
BLOND ALES –
*Pete’s Strawberry Blonde,
CREAM ALE –
*Cream Ale – Rogue Honey Cream Ale
*Old Buzzard Pale Ale
*Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (a frequent award winning pale ale that is really excellent.)
INDIA PALE ALE –
*Samuel Smith’s India Pale Ale,
*Double Imperial Pale Ale (considered a type of India Pale Ale)
AMBER ALES (Probably the ideal ales for drinking with beer.)
*Abita amber Ale,
*Alaskan Brewing Amber Ale
*Boont Amber Ale
*Bell’s Amber Ale
*Black Sheep Brewery’s Holy Grail Ale
*Arcadia Amber Ale (a darker Amber Ale.)
*Acme California – Brown Ale
*Red Hook Nut Brown Ale
*Bell’s Brown Ale
*Goose Island Nut Brown Ale
*Newcastle (England) Brown Ale
*Samuel Smith’s (England) Nut Brown Ale
*Ellie’s Brown Ale
OTHER OUTSTANDING ALES
*Sierra Nevada Anniversary and Celebration Ales,
*Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale
*St. Peter’s English Ale,
*Goose Island Brewing Company’s Honker’s Ale
*Black Sheep (England,) Holy Grail Ale
*Arbita Brewing Turbodog Ale, a darker ale.
*Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Company in Bozeman, Montana. A deep amber ale that has all the intensity of dark ales without the bitterness.
Drinking beers from local microbreweries when eating pizza makes the experience much more fun. Local beers tend to be unique to the area where they are made. Smaller, local pizza establishments often like to serve local beers because that means that their customers are supporting local businesses all the way around.
Pizza and beer go together like popcorn and butter or burgers and fries. What feels or tastes right to one person may not be what tastes right with someone else. Figuring out what beers go best with pizza is something that we learn by trying different beers with our pizzas. The rich flavors of different types of ales just seem to make them a perfect match for pizza.