Watching the biggest football game of the year on “Super Sunday” has become less about the sport itself and more of an American tradition as a whole. Even those who don’t follow the sport often attend the festivities of beer drinking, pizza eating, and halftime commercial watching. These elements have become strongly associated with watching the Big Game, and especially with the first two, you can’t have one without the other. Because of this uprising tradition, there have been efforts to place more attention towards the beer and pizza itself, such as Manhattan’s Pizza a Casa’s Beer-Infused Super Bowl Pizzas, and Tom and Athena Seefurth’s Pizza Beer. These products are created with the marriage of just the right amount of flavors that compliment each other so that both pizza and beer can be tasted with just one bite or sip. Different types of beers and flavors of pizzas can also be paired together so that both can become more enjoyable. But with so many different types of beers and flavors, and unique taste buds of every individual, how can we determine what beer is the best for which pizzas? Believe it or not, there is a scientific explanation for the beer and pizza pairing process.
Over the last decade, the United States has experienced something that has been coined the “Craft Beer Revolution” in terms of beer drinking. This revolves around the interest that people, especially Millennials, have expressed for their preference of specialty beers and food pairings. Canned and bottled generic branded beers can no longer cut it when trying to satisfy a beer craving. It is now all about the gastropubs and microbreweries that can offer unique draft beers along with a food item that can compliment it. Typically, when it comes to food and beverage pairings, people associate it to wines with poultry or seafood. In reality, beer has become increasingly popular as a pairing choice, and a lot of times even more preferable than wine. Pasos, a tourism and cultural heritage journal, noticed this trend and decided to conduct a study on which styles of beers pair the best with different flavors of pizza. Researchers paired different types of beer to either a non-spicy, less flavorful pizza, or a spicy and bolder tasting pizza for participants to try. The findings of the study revealed that lighter bodied beers like Lagers and American Wheat Ale taste better with the non-spicy pizza, while full-bodied beers like Porters and Stouts taste better with the spicy pizza. The study was also able to disprove the stereotype that only men like dark beers because women participants tended to prefer the darker beers when it was paired with the spicy pizza. The researchers explained that the reasoning behind their results is that beer is a science that incorporates different elements of flavors that blend together. At the same time, the flavors need to be individual as well, so that one does not overpower the other. Bolder flavored foods typically have the ingredients that correlate with the ones used for full-bodied beers. The study was published with the goal of aiding the restaurant industry with more knowledge and food pairing menu items for their customers.
More specific examples of beer and pizza pairings include:
- Hawaiian Pizza paired with a dark lager
- The malty and slightly sweet flavors found in dark lagers works well with the sweetness of the pineapples on the pizza. In turn, the flavors of the pizza do not overpower the beer’s mild flavors.
- Pizza with heavy meat toppings paired with brown ales.
- Brown ale has the hops that go well with the subtle spiciness of pizza meats such as sausage and pepperoni. The carbonation of the ales also compliments the acidity from the pizza’s tomato sauce.
- Barbeque chicken pizza paired with a Porter.
- Porter beers have strong flavors that pairs well with the strong barbeque flavors from the pizza. Smoked Porters taste even better because the two smoky flavors combine into one.
- Vegetarian pizza paired with American lager or wheat ale.
- The simple flavors of a vegetarian pizza blend perfectly with the simple flavors of an American lager or wheat ale, being careful not to overpower one another. The sweetness of the vegetables will also enhance the refreshing taste of the beers.
Here at Garvey Wholesale Beverage, we offer a large selection of beers of all different styles, including the ones mentioned. So for this year’s big game, come by to pick up a case or two and try out some of these pairings! It will be the ultimate game day experience for your taste buds!