Grab a decent slice and a can of beer. You have a perfect pairing. Combining pizza and beer is a simple and easily replicable process. There’s no fuss and it tastes great. We’re here to take it to the next level.
We took a trip down to Bushwick to visit Roberta’s, the world-famous pizza joint, to get some in-depth tips about pairing beer with pizza. Co-owner Brandon Hoy and Beverage Director Nicol Leddington picked out five pizzas and five beers for us to sample. We started off simple, but by the end we were complementing savory meats with smoked beers, and clams with tart sours.
Here are five pairings that the Bushwick master’s themselves recommend.
Margarita + Brooklyn & Roberta’s 257
Tomato, mozzarella, and basil + Helles Lager
This is the OG pizza and beer pairing. A simple margarita slice and a lager that tastes like beer. For a while Roberta’s had little more than Budweiser for those seeking a lager, but have since upgraded by teaming up with Brooklyn Brewery to brew a clean Helles Lager.
White Guy + Plan Bee Barn Beer
Mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt + Wild Ale
The White Guy pizza is a pretty standard white cheese pizza but is full-on flavor. Pair it with a wild ale from Plan Beer Farm Brewery to unlock its brightness.
Ursula Parade + Grimm Sunshine Pop
Mozzarella, parmigiano, littleneck clams, calabrian chili, parsley, garlic, and lemon + Berliner Weisse
This was my favorite pairing. The clam and garlic flavors were balanced out with a vibrant sour pop from the Grimm beer. It was an intense, creamy pie but worked perfectly with the lemongrass and milk sugar notes of Sunshine Pop.
Bee Sting + The Alchemist Focal Banger
Tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, chili, and honey + IPA
We got lucky. The Focal Banger delivery came in on the day we visited Roberta’s, but any solid IPA would work well with this pie. The spicy and sweet blend of chili and honey keeps an IPA’s bitterness in check. Bee Sting also has a great history. Hoy’s hobby of beekeeping led to an abundance of honey at the Bushwick pizza shop. “So we decided to put it on our pizza,” Hoy said.
Beastmaster + Arrowood Farms Rising Smoke Beer
Tomato, mozzarella, gorgonzola, pork sausage, onion, caper, and jalapeno + Rauchbier
This is the palate destroyer. “We threw in the kitchen sink,” Hoy explained. The Beastmaster is easily Roberta’s biggest and boldest pizza and Rising Smoke from Arrowood Farms is an equally big and bold beer. It was a delicious pairing, but it’ll slap you across the face.