“Pizza won’t fill the emptiness in your soul. You’ll also need beer.”
-Hot Box Cooking Wood
There’s nothing quite like a fresh, wood-fired pizza and an ice-cold brew. Here at Hot Box Cooking Wood, we like to kick back with a hot slice and a cold one after a long day of working on our wood. And over the years, we’ve perfected the formula for the best pizza and beer combos!
To some of you, this may sound odd. You might think that any beer goes well with pizza, or any pizza goes well with beer. After all, what difference does matching one to the other make?
Answer: a MASSIVE difference!
You see, when you pair the right wood-fired pizza with the right beer, something amazing happens. The resulting flavors play symphonies for your taste buds. The sky seems just a little bluer. The air is a little crisper. There’s a little more peace in the world.
Pizza and beer paired correctly just feel right. Therefore, we’re here to open your taste buds to this new experience in pizza consumption!
Below we have put together a handy cheat sheet for finding the perfect beer for a wide variety of pizzas. Plus, if you keep scrolling, you’ll find more information on why each pair fits so well together and recommendations for how to find each beer.
Happy hunting, pizzaiolos.
Pair Margherita Pizza with an Unfiltered Lager
A simple beer goes best with a simple pizza. Therefore, we suggest pairing a Margherita pizza with an unfiltered lager. The light, bready flavor that comes from the yeast will perfectly complement the pizza’s charred and toasty crust. It will also enhance the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes and the richness of the mozzarella cheese.
Not sure which unfiltered lager to choose? Here are a couple of options your taste buds will love:
- Easy to find: Longfin Lager from Ballast Point Brewing Company
- Harder to find: RegionX Lager by Three Floyds Brewing Company
Savor Cheese Pizza and a Blonde Ale
The classic ingredients of cheese pizza combine in smooth harmony with the easy-drinking blonde ale. The light taste of the hops cuts through the fats in the cheese but doesn’t outshine the pizza. So, you won’t have overwhelming flavors in your mouth—only pure deliciousness.
If you’re a lady or gentleman that prefers blondes, here are some lovely ales to sample with your cheese:
- Easy to find: Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Company
- Harder to find: Second Reef Session Ale from Laguna Beach Beer Company (Laguna Beach Beer Company has locations in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Rancho Santa Margarita California.)
Spinach and Mushroom Deserve a Sturdy Stout
When you eat spinach and mushroom pizza, you aren’t joking around. The bold and earthy flavors won’t pair well with anything less than a full-bodied stout. Its milky, almost chocolatey flavor will perfectly contrast with the salty, savory slice and send you down the rabbit hole into flavor wonderland.
Feeling bold enough to try stout and spinach? Here are some stouts that will reward your boldness:
- Easy to find: Milk Stout Nitro from Left Hand Brewing Company
- Harder to find: Tough Love from Crux Fermentation Project
Hawaiian Pizza Couples Sweetly with a Fruit Beer
Don’t worry. We’re not here to hate on pineapple pizza lovers. If Hawaiian is your pizza of choice, we applaud you for going against the grain and want to reward you with the perfect blend of fruity goodness. A fruit beer will amplify the pineapple, perfectly complement the acidity of the tomato and enhance the savory flavor of the Canadian ham.
If your pizza luau needs some great fruit beer, we’ve got you covered:
- Easy to find: Mango Hefeweizen from Garage Brewing Company
- Harder to find: Anchor’s Meyer Lemon Lager from Anchor Brewing Company
Flavorful Veggie Pizza Needs a Summer Kölsch
There’s no shortage of flavor in veggie pizza because there is no shortage of vegetables that go well on pizza. You can add tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, onions, mushrooms, spinach and whatever other veggies you can think of! With all those toppings, you want to make sure you can taste them. The Summer Kölsch has a delicate flavor that will cut through the salty cheese and bring forward all the bitter or sweet flavors from your favorite vegetables.
Eager to find a beer that will make you want to eat your vegetables? Try these:
Enjoy White Pizza with a Belgian Dubbel or Tripel
So, you’ve decided to ditch the ol’ tomato sauce for olive oil, eh? There’s no judgment here! But to enhance the rich and savory taste of a white pizza, you need a sweet and flavorful Belgian dubbel or tripel. The rich caramel taste offers a complex contrast with the salty and savory cheeses. Yet, neither strong flavor overpowers the other.
Ready to go Belgian and white? You can’t go wrong with these brews:
- Easy to find: Tripel Belgian Ale from Powderhaus Brewing Company
- Harder to find: Westmalle Trappist Dubbel from Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle
Keep Your Pepperoni Poppin’ with a Pale Ale
A classic pepperoni pizza requires a beverage that doesn’t overpower the saltiness but instead works with it. Enter the humble pale ale. The hoppy-ness of a pale ale elevates the pepperoni by cutting through the oil and salt without removing the flavor. Likewise, the savory-ness of the meat brings out the hops in the beer without overpowering them.
Want this classic match made in heaven at your next shindig? Make sure you pick up one of these brews:
- Easy to find: Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues Brewery
- Harder to find: Zombie Dust from Three Floyds Brewing Company
Pepper, Sausage and Onion Need a Belgian Ale
A pepper, sausage and onion pizza features very bold and spicy flavors, which deserve a crisp beer to refresh your taste buds and help you taste them better. The hint of fruity and zesty flavor in the Belgian ale will contrast perfectly with the savory sausage and vegetables, allowing the flavor of the pizza to stand out.
Delicious Belgian flavor is out there! Here’s where you can find it:
- Easy to find: Fat Tire from New Belgium Brewing
- Harder to find: Redemption from Russian River Brewing Company
Cheers to the Best Beer with Pizza!
We hope you enjoyed this pizza and beer pairing guide and didn’t get too stuffed or sauced along the way!
Which pizza and beer combinations are your favorites? Let us know by snapping a photo and tagging us on Instagram @hotboxcookingwood!
And if you need help making wood-fired pizza in your portable pizza oven, we’d be happy to oblige. Our 6-inch, kiln-dried hardwood fits perfectly in all the top ovens! You can get your Hot Box today here.
Here’s to delightfully delicious wood-fired pizza and beer!