Pizza and Beer: The Simple Guide To Pairing

Pizza and beer pairing Picture by TheWanderingGormet.com

The right beer to go with your pizza is not hard to figure out. That doesn’t mean we can’t help each other get better at beer and pizza.

You don’t need me to tell you, but, Pizza and beer is a thing. Maybe the biggest thing in the genre of pairing beer with food, and pizza with… well, anything.

Beer and pizza, while they may be two of the greatest things in the world, take up valuable calorie real estate.

So it is essential these calories are used properly. We want the optimal experience.

A Simple Guide To Pizza and Beer

But, before we go further with this post, here is a quick infographic that craftbeer.com has created, to get you quickly into your perfect pairing:

Craft Beer and Pizza pairing

Alright, now get cheesier with me and keep reading…

Beer and pizza pairing is serious.

Don’t go into your eating and drinking all willy nilly. Stay focused while enjoying all the goodness and comfort that beer and pizza provides.

The thing to keep in mind is finding a balance.

If the pizza is mild, bland, basic, then you go big, flavorful and spicy, on the beer.

If your are gorging on spicy pizza, you get a beer that is simple and mellow.

Here are five basic pizza styles to match up with the proper beer:

CHEESE PIZZA: Red Ale.

Alternatives include Wheat Beer. Ambers. Pilsners. Pales are good in this situation as well.

This is the best use of a red beer. In fact, I really don’t care to have a red without pizza around. I feel like it is a style that needs pizza or needs something else.

A red ale is like salsa. I suppose it is fine on its own but I need something to eat with it to actually enjoy it.

Maybe the best known red out here on the West Coast is the Karl Straus Red Trolley Ale. Well, best know if you have ever gone to Disneyland: California Adventure, that is and found the Karl Strauss Beer Cart.

California Adventure Beer Truck
Image from LAist.com

A magical cart it is. Find a slice of cheese pizza in the park and you are all set.

Continue reading “Pizza and Beer: The Simple Guide To Pairing”

The Beer Geek’s Guide For Using Untappd

How to use Untappd

I know that Untappd has its own FAQ but how about some Untappd advice from a hardcore user, like me? A beer nerd that is not very good at giving detailed reviews but knows that they are not good at it. That makes it cool, yeah?

Untappd gets a lot of flack, but I think it is the best beer app for journalling and tracking your beer. I have a physical beer journal (shout out to Moleskin) and I have Untappd. I use Untappd a lot more, even though I love notebooks.

Let’s look at some basics and some of the beer app’s features you might not have thought of or have forgotten about.

How to use Untappd

You have the basics down, right?:

  • Figure out it’s spelled Untappd, not Untaped.
  • Download the app.
  • Sign up for an account.
  • Make a profile.
  • Start searching for the beer you’re drinking.
  • Look for friends.
  • Be annoyed by badges.
  • Forget to check-in to beers.
Build A Profile Worth Seeing

A normal picture is all you really need. Don’t shy away from making a good, complete profile. You are amongst fellow beer lovers, it’s okay to shout it to the global beer garden that is Untappd “I love beer and I don’t care who knows about it!” There is very little judgment about how much beer you drink, less than you probably think. Have fun and screw that haters.

Don’t Rate Styles You Know Nothing About

Nothing pisses off a brewer more than to go on Untappd, see somebody check into one of their beers, give the beer a shitty rating and then say “I have never had this style, I didn’t like it, 2 stars.”

This is why brewers hate Untappd.

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Happy Hops IPA from Russian River Brewing, It’s A Thing!

Happy Hops IPA

I had no idea Russian River had a tribute beer called Happy Hops IPA. Glad I found out.

A friend from work spent some time in Santa Rosa recently (I like to call it “Pliny Town”) and went to Russian River Brewing every day. Dude isn’t even a big beer geek but he likes good beer, so of course, he went there as much as possible.

He surprised me when he came back with a bottle of Pliny the Elder (of course). Awesome because that is my all-time favorite and I don’t get to have it nearly enough.

But I quickly brushed it aside because next to that Pliny bottle was another Russian River bottle with a label I did not recognize. A new IPA from Russian River!?

A NEW beer!? Give that shit to me right now! Typical asshat beer geek.

That new beer is called Happy Hops IPA.

It is not totally new though. As the bottle states, Happy Hops is a tribute beer. A brewery in Santa Rosa called Grace Brother’s Brewery, made this beer in 1944. Unfortunately, the brewery closed in the 60s.

But RR brought this one back as respect to Santa Rosa brewing past. A pretty cool thing to do. I love when breweries do this kind of stuff.

Does it taste like an old IPA?

I know what you’re thinking because I was thinking it too: An IPA from 1944? It’s going to be malty AF! There is no way this could be up to my ever raising beer snob standards.

But Russian River, yo.

It’s good. Of course, it’s good, it’s freaking Russian River. Very clean. Not what I expected. Definitely would not consider it malty. That’s probably because Vinny from RR said (in a recent interview) that they blended some new world hops and tech to even things out.

Here is a brief video of me having a taste:

The hops used for Happy Hops

  • Amarillo.
  • Azacca.
  • Brewers gold.
  • Cashmere.

I could not tell you which hop is more pronounced but I feel like Amarillo is the one that gives it an updated feel.

Get this beer on your next trip to Russian River

While there won’t be a linefest anytime soon for this beer, it is definitely worthy of putting on your list of beers to try for your next Russian River pilgrimage.

Good news is they say that once the new production facility is up and running in Windsor, they will be making and packaging more of Happy Hops!

Modern Times’ Monsters Park Prices Are Too Damn High!

I am not a stout guy but I do remember liking Modern Time’s Monsters Park Imperial Stout. It’s been a while though for me.

It’s a limited release beer. Comes and goes. But if you look in your Total Wine or maybe your beer buying place of choice, you will see individual cans of Monsters Park. Not the 16oz, mind you, the 12 oz cans.

Those cans are going for $17.99 or more.

Should I get a Quicken Loan for a can of Monsters Park?

Cute 12oz can, Modern Times. Now bring out the real can. These must be gag gifts, right? No, it’s real? Okay sorry. You need a $20 bill to get one 12oz can of beverage now, I see. This deserves a strongly worded Untappd rating.

if we were talking about one of the bombers of Monsters Park, that would be a different story. But this is a baby 12oz can. Hardly enough for a personal beerfest.

Can I age a can of beer like Monsters Park?

When you get a bomber bottle, Modern Times suggests that it would be totally cool to age it anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

But what about the can?

Let’s say we don’t think $18 for a can of Monsters Park is too damn high and we buy it. Can I age it, or (if you prefer the term) cellar it?

Yes, aging beer in a can is a thing too and yeah, do it. I think cellaring beer in a bottle or a can has equal benefits and drawbacks so it does not really matter.

I would like to one day take the same batch of beer, one in a can, one in a bottle, sit on it for a year and then see how they do. But that is for another post, another day.

Continue reading “Modern Times’ Monsters Park Prices Are Too Damn High!”

Can I Buy Beer With A Gas Station Credit Card?

Beer Questions: Can A Gas Card Be Used To Buy Craft Beer?

Pay day is several days away and all you really want is a 6-pack of good beer to get you through the week.

The only way you have to pay for anything is a credit card from a gas station.

So this begs the question: Can I buy beer with my, say, Shell Credit Card?

Yes! The answer is yes.

Desperate times call for desperate beer purchases.

Look, man, you should not be doing this. A lot of gas credit cards have high interest rates. Like 23% rates.

I’m no math wiz but you are paying a lot more for that beer when you use a card.

That said, when you need to have some beer and you have no other means and you have space on your gas card, it’s there for you. It’s been days since you’ve been able to check-in a beer on Untappd. You NEED THIS, MAN!

I may have done it, once or twice myself so no judgement here.

This may or may not be cool across all the States.

As far as I can tell you can do this with most cards. From Shell cards, Chevron, 76, Texaco, or whatever weird gas company you have in your town.

Every state’s rules have the possibility of being different.

It might be smart to do a quick call-ahead to the gas station to make sure you can use your card to buy that tasty beer. Just don’t let on it’s for you when you call…

“Yeah so my friend wanted me to call and ask if you take your gas card for payment if one wanted to purchase an alcoholic beverage? Also, do you have any hazy beer right now?… asking for a friend still.”

Of note: You may have a “fuel only” restriction placed on your card if it is a business account. So be warned. Have a really rad excuse lined up when your boss asks about that $16.99 charge for a 4-pack of “How’s It Hazing, Bro?!”

Can you buy alcohol with a GIFT card?

No. This is different from a gas CREDIT card. Not really sure why.

To me it makes more sense to restrict a gas credit card from buying alcohol than a gift card.

A gift card normally works like cash.

Somebody paid cash for the gift card. You can buy beer with cash. Why can’t you buy beer at a gas station with a gas gift card!?

I guess it’s fine for gas companies to make that credit card rate money with beer.

Continue reading “Can I Buy Beer With A Gas Station Credit Card?”