On their own, beer and pizza are flavour superheroes. When they work together? They’re an unstoppable force.
We’ve celebrated this dynamic duo before — and we’ll keep doing it. Why? Because beer plus pizza isn’t simply a pairing; it’s a brilliant partnership. Golden-brown pizza crust harmonizes with the toasted barley in brews, while the sweetness of the malt balances the tanginess of the tomato sauce. And the way lagers and ales refresh the palate between bites of salty, gooey melted cheese? It’s like they were made for each other.
Pizza-and-beer pairing is like any other skill: practice makes perfect. Here are seven ingenious ways to merge these two perennial favourites.
- Add beer to the sauce.
If you take a DIY approach to pizza, you’ll love the homemade, brown ale–infused tomato sauce in our Ultimate Beer Lovers’ Pizza recipe. If you’re wondering why it tastes so good, the answer is simple: The malty sweetness of the brown ale contrasts with and softens the acidic bite of the crushed tomatoes. Also, the herbal aromas of hops make them a close flavour cousin to oregano and basil, which often show up in Italian foods — and that’s one of the fundamental reasons beer and pizza taste so great together.
- Add beer to the dough, too.
Wouldn’t you know it? Beer can take pizza dough to the next level as well.
Keen beer-loving chefs know that when a recipe calls for water, substituting their preferred brew can often yield extra-flavourful results — and pizza dough is no exception. The crust on our Ultimate Beer Lovers’ Pizza is so good because brown ale’s caramel notes bring out the fresh-baked, bready aroma of the homemade dough. Try it and see!
Bonus tip: Whenever you cook with beer, serve the finished dish with the same brew to ensure epic flavour harmony.
- Match your beer to your cheese.
Cheese is a famously tasty partner for beer. So, of course, pizza’s cheesiness is another reason why it goes so deliciously with our favourite beverage.
To make the most of this love match, pick a beer that is especially compatible with the type of cheese on your pie. For example, a pizza featuring a light, subtle formaggio, such as mozzarella or goat, is perfect with a light-tasting beer, such as a white beer or a helles lager. A more pungent cheese, like gorgonzola, calls for India pale ale (IPA), which can stand up to its one-two flavour punch. Any ideal beer-and-cheese pairing is fair game here.
- Match your beer to your pizza style.
There’s often more to a pie than just the cheese. Sometimes it’s the toppings that tell the story. According to the science of beer-and-pizza pairing, meaty pies go with more-robust beers, such as IPAs, while milder or veggie-loaded ones are better with subtler beers, such as pale lagers.
Need more ideas? For a mushroom pizza, try a British-style pale ale, which loves earthy flavours. If you’re a fan of that love-it-or-hate-it Canadian invention, the Hawaiian pizza, go for an American-style pale ale. The tangy citrus of the hops will bring out the flavour of the pineapple.
- Use ingredients with beer in them.
Beer and pizza side by side? Good. Beer in the pizza? Even better! And we’re not talking about just the sauce and the dough.
Ingredients cooked in beer, made with beer or infused with beer are terrific flavour boosters. So if you spot a beer-infused option at the cheese counter, try it shredded on your pie. For protein, you could use beer-simmered bratwurst or chunks of Herbed Lemon Radler Beer-Can Chicken (washed down with a radler, of course). And add a sprinkle of our Caramelized Onions with American Pale Ale for the perfect finishing touch.
Finally, if you prefer your pizza on the hotter side, try drizzling it with beer-infused hot sauce. And keep a thirst-quenching cold brew handy to tame the flames.
- Add a side dish made with beer.
A cool, crisp salad is a mouth-watering complement to a rich slice. And if you can make one with a zippy, beer-infused dressing, all the better. Our Zero-Waste Salad with Wheat Beer Vinaigrette uses up leftovers nicely, and it’s tasty with a goat cheese and red pepper pizza.
If you’re in the mood for a more indulgent side, how about whipping up a batch of the aioli from our Sheet Pan Home Fries with IPA Aioli? It makes a fantastic dip for crusts — especially for a spicy sausage pie, which will play well with the zesty IPA.
- Keep exploring.
Given the versatility of pizza and the variety of beers out there, you’ll never run out of flavour combinations to try. At The Beer Store, we offer more than 800 brands, so you can keep sampling new combos in your quest to find your perfect pizza-and-beer team. Could it be a sour beer to sweet-talk some pickled hot peppers? A cream ale to cleanse your palate after each deliciously salty bite of prosciutto-and-arugula pizza? Or an imperial stout with a chocolaty dessert pizza to expand your horizons? You’re the explorer — and your next beer-and-pizza adventure is up to you.