Wine and cheese, burgers and fries, ice cream and bar-one sauce – could you imagine any of these without the other? Neither could we. The world is full of iconic food pairings that cause your taste buds to tingle at the mere thought. Our personal favourite is perhaps the greatest combination of all time, craft beer and pizza. Just picture it – a crisp artisanal base topped with oozy melted cheese (and let’s not forget the toppings), washed down with a velvety swig of brewed-to-perfection craft beer. Heaven. There’s no denying these two crowd-pleasers bring out the best in each other. And when you find the sweet spot, the perfect beer and pizza combo – euphoria. After all, some flavours are just meant to be. Lucky for you, we can point you in the right direction when it comes to picking the best match.
What’s the deal with beer and pizza? Why is it so good? First of all, the experience as a whole is pretty darn magical. Kicking back with your friends, sharing a slice while sipping a brew – is there any better way to spend an afternoon? No, we couldn’t think of one either. When it comes down to it, everyone is happier with a craft beer in hand and a pizza on the plate in front of them. It’s a fact.
The second reason particular beer and pizza combos fit like a glove lies in the delicate nuances of the flavours each brings to the table. Let’s take the cheese, for instance. No pizza is complete without a stringy layer of melted mozzarella. (Except our Deli’s Vegan Pizza, that’s cheese-free and seriously delicious.) While you might first think wine when someone mentions cheese, beer is a better bet when it comes to the cheese on a pizza. Why? Simple. During the cooking process, the cheesy topping bubbles and melts, releasing the fats. You could argue this is the best part of any pizza, but the oiliness can get a bit heavy. Thanks to its carbonated structure and acidic nature, beer is the perfect accompaniment to lift and lighten the fats in your favourite pizza.
If anyone tells you they don’t love this understated classic, don’t listen to them – they’re lying. A whole pizza dedicated to everyone’s favourite ingredient, the cheese – what’s not to love? Crisp, clean and subtle, you need a brew that enhances the flavours rather than overpowers. Whether you choose an easy drinking APA, like The Quarterback or a crisp pilsner, like The Dean, you want something refreshing to cut through the oily cheese without drowning it out completely.
You can’t deny the rich, bold flavours of a meaty pizza. When selecting the best beverage for the meat lover’s pizza, you want a brew that will hold its own against big flavours. Here, you can’t go wrong with a dark Belgium ale, like The FES. The complex notes in both beer and pizza create a perfect balance, neither one squashing the other.
Finding the right brew for a vegetarian pizza, on the other hand, depends on which vegetables are taking centre stage. If your pizza boasts robust flavours from the likes of olives or jalapenos, you might prefer a malty amber ale, like The Cheerleader. But, otherwise, a distinct IPA, like The Graduate is always your best bet.
Have we got your mouth watering? Visit us at the Deli and find your favourite beer and pizza pairing. We brew all our craft beers with food flavours in mind, and it’s no secret that our students make the best artisanal pizzas this side of the hill. Call 031 777 1566 to book a table for this weekend.