(Eat Drink Sleep & Hotelier Hospitality Design, February 2024 issues)

With National Pizza Day approaching on 9th February what better strategy to attract customers into your venue than with a creative American craft beer and pizza pairing night?   Imagine the irresistible combination of a a delicious, gooey, thin or thick crust pizza harmoniously paired with a top-quality American craft beer, creating a flavour explosion!

The variety of pizza toppings opens up exciting possibilities for various beer styles to interact uniquely with each component.  While one style complements the prominent ingredients of the topping, another may echo the toast of the crust.  This dynamic interplay promises an unforgettable culinary experience for your patrons.

Here’s a guide to pairing beer with pizza:

  1. Margherita + pilsner or lager. A crisp, clean Helles or pilsner lager with a high level of carbonation will scrub the palate clean of the rich greasy cheese and cut through the fat content. Alternatively, a Dunkel-style with a lightly toasted malt backbone will enhance the flavours of the pizza crust.
  2. Vegetarian + pale ale. From earthy mushrooms, salty cheese, and tangy onions to bitter spinach, vegetarian toppings offer a diverse platform for pairing.  Consider opting for a pale ale that is versatile enough to resonate with each flavour but not be overshadowed by the acidity of the tomato base.
  3. Pepperoni + IPA. The hop bitterness in a robust, big-hitting, IPA can elevate the spiciness of pepperoni and effectively cut through its grease. When dealing with strongly flavoured and spicy toppings, it’s essential to match them with an equally robust and flavoursome beer. Choosing a beer with a pronounced character will ensure a harmonious and complementary experience, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the bold and spicy pizza toppings.
  4. Hawaiian: + gose. The combination of ham and tropical pineapple pair well with the fruity notes of gose. The gentle tartness inherent to the style balances the sweetness of the pineapple, while its salty undertones bring out the natural salinity of the ham.
  5. Spicy Meat Feast + stout. The sweet malty notes of a stout resonates with the intense, meaty flavours of the topping, providing a harmonious counterpoint that also tempers the heat of the spice.  The savoury or umami flavours of the pizza will be balanced by the chocolatey, roasted, richness of a full-bodied stout. This beer choice not only complements the overall savoury profile but also introduces a layer of depth and richness, enhancing the overall culinary experience of the pizza.

American craft beer is widely perceived to be bigger, bolder and more complex in flavour than many other nation’s making it sought out the world over.  Why? American craft beer benefits from the use of high-quality raw materials, technical brewing expertise, relentless innovation and an unswerving commitment to quality from grain to glass to ensure it reaches the beer drinker exactly as the brewer intended.  What’s more, American craft beer regularly wins top honours at international beer competitions judged by some of the best palates in the industry.

American craft beer is available through national wholesalers or on line  Athletic Brewing, or Sierra Nevada UK

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