Craft beer enthusiasts and pizza lovers might still reach for American-style pale lagers that come in blue, red, gold or silver cans. They also want masterfully prepared craft beer to wash down locally produced Chicago pizza, New York Pizza, calzones and wings. Is there such a thing as craft beer and pizza pairing? You bet there is. Here’s your quick guide to pairing craft beer in San Diego, CA with hyperlocal pizza.

Pizza, Pilsner and Pale Ale

As with all food and bev pairing, there are no hard and fast rules. When in doubt, observe the timeless maxim: “Drink what you love, and love what you drink.” Fortunately, craft beer enthusiasts who also love pizza have some recommendations. These suggestions boast the optimal interplay of ingredients and flavor components between beer and pizza.

The master list of craft beer and pizza pairing includes the five major types of pizza most popular in North America:

  • Margherita
  • Pepperoni
  • Meat Lover’s/Supreme
  • Buffalo Chicken
  • Hawaiian

For simple, traditional Margherita, reach for the crisp malt backbone of pilsner. The spice and saltiness of pepperoni pizza benefits most from a basic, uncomplicated pale lager. A smoky, hot buffalo chicken pizza needs the cool, mellow coolness of amber, red and brown ales.

A cloudy Belgian witbier is just the tonic for the diverse likes of meat lover’s and supreme pizzas. Lastly, the dry, hoppy brightness of a west coast-style IPA brilliantly counters the salty-sweet ham/bacon-pineapple combo that defines Hawaiian pizza.

Chicago vs. New York

It’s an age old rivalry that’s pointless. Chicago is essentially deep-dish, while New York sports a flatter, more classic Neapolitan crust called a cornicione. Both traditions rely on high quality, fresh ingredients that complement juice, wine and beer. Treat yourself today to a slice and a pint of craft beer in San Diego, CA.

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