One of the most daunting tasks in learning about food and beverage pairings is knowing when to complement vs. when to contrast. I discovered years ago that the most compatible wine to drink with spicy Indian food was Gewürztraminer, the sweet and aromatic German wine that most foodies agree goes well with nothing. But if you try it once, you’ll be a believer.
The same holds true for beer. Beer enthusiasts appreciate the subtle nuances that typify beers depending on where — and how — they are brewed.
Which brings us to today’s topic: what beer to serve with pizza. Eleven years ago, Tom and Athena Seefurth of Campton Township, Ill., asked themselves the same question and came to the conclusions that (1) the ideal beer for pizza would harmonize with the dish and (2) that such a brew did not exist.
So the couple set about inventing it. Pizza beer was born! Shortly after, the Seefurths went commercial with their product, which is sold under the Mamma Mia! label.
As the website explains:
The Margarita pizza is put into the mash & steeped like a tea bag. A whole wheat crust made with water, flour & yeast is topped with tomato, oregano, basil & garlic. The essence of the pizza spices is washed off with hot water and filtered into a brewpot, where it is boiled for a long, long time. During the process, we add hops & spices in a cheesecloth type bag & filter the cooled liquid into a fermentation vessel. (big glass 6 gallon water jug). After a week or two, the beer is good to go. Keg it or bottle it.
The hundreds of pounds of pizza are still hand chopped, but you won’t need to chew the beer to get it down. All the solids are filtered out after steeping, resulting in a totally debris-free beer with a just a hint of the “essence of pizza.”
The only problem with the beer is ordering it. Right now the online store the website links to reports it is out of stock. A Google search for the product came up empty. We’ll keep looking, and update you when we find something.