September 5th marks National Cheese Pizza Day! Celebrate one of the most popular varieties of pizza by ordering up or baking your own. But wait! What good is pizza without something to wash it down with? Being the casual food that it is, calls for a no-frills kind of drink. And let’s be honest—not everyone wants to limit their toppings to strictly cheese. We’ve put together a list that goes over various pizza styles paired with craft beers.
Let’s start with the basics. A classic cheese pizza pairs best with a light, hoppy pale ale. The light malt won’t block the pizza’s flavor and the slight bitterness from the hops will fall into perfect harmony with the sweetness of the tomato sauce, while highlighting the saltiness of the cheese. The hops will also cleanse the palate between slices.
Pepperoni is the crowd pleasing go-to for many. For this classic pizza, we recommend a West Coast IPA. The malty body will play off the slight sweetness of the pepperoni pie. The hoppy character will help to bring out the spice in the pepperoni sausage, and the alcohol content will slice through the grease.
For a true carnivore, the meat lover’s pizza is king! The meat toppings on this kind of pizza may vary, however pepperoni and sausage are typically pretty standard. Pair this type of pizza with a beer that is tart, with a hint of spice, to cut the fattiness. A Belgian Witbier fits the bill. These beers are made with coriander and orange peel, so this accentuates the natural sweetness of pork and complements the spicy pepperoni.
Suggested Belgian style beers:
Buffalo Bayou Summer’s Wit
The Margherita pizza is simple, yet not too basic like your standard cheese pizza. A favorite among many New Yorkers, this pie pairs excellently with a crisp and light pilsner. Pilsners are more malt-forward. This means their bready notes compliment the pizza crust. Their bitter finish will cut some of the fattiness of the cheese.
Libbey #689 Altitude Pilsner
That’s it for now, pizza lovers! If you’re on the hunt for your new favorite craft beer to help you celebrate National Cheese Pizza day then be sure to ask the brew experts at your local Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods.