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”

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!

What Does Rolling A Beer Do? [File Under: Hazy Beer Tips]

What is rolling your beer anyway?
Hazy beer “Death To False Beer” is a good beer for rolling.

Do you already know about rolling your beer or is this the first time you’re hearing about it?

I recently was listening to Three B Zine podcast and heard a guy from Stone Brewing talk about rolling a can of Hazy IPA or NE style (whatever term you prefer) beer before opening it.

Oh, yes, I have seen hazebros do this beer rolling on Instagram but did not think there was a point to it other than it makes for a slightly fun and quick video.

There is actually a point to it.

Why? What does rolling a beer do?

It breaks up the sediment. If a beer has been sitting around a bit or is excessive in its hazy New England nature, there will be lots of chunky goodness to mix in with the rest of the beer.

Rolling it brings out the all the flavors.

So, when you roll it, it’s like shaking it up without shaking it up because actually shaking a beer is bad – unless you just won the World Series and you’re pouring beer over your teammate in the locker room.

Rolling it mixes all the things. The sediment. The haze. The juicy.

Is it okay to drink beer with sediment?

Yeah, dude. Totally. That’s full of protein probably.

Actually, it’s the yeast. It is heavy and likes to rest at the bottom of your can or bottle. Yeast gets worn out and lazy.

Good news though, that sediment apparently has plenty of B-vitamins so you’re going to be super healthy after drinking it. “No honey, I don’t need to take my multivitamin today, I have my juicy beer here, I’m good.”

What is the best way to roll your beer?

Be nice to your beer. Take your favorite can or crowler of hazy, or bottle of old beer. Playfully roll it across the table a few times. Open. Pour. Enjoy your haze…bro.

If you do it right and don’t get too crazy with your roll, it won’t explode on you, it’ll just be ready to enjoy.

Enough talking about it. Let’s try it because I am getting thirsty and I need something chunky and juicy:

How To Pour From A Crowler When You Suck At It

How To Pour From A Crowler

If you can’t seem to pour from a crowler without making a mess, like me, I have the solution. No, I don’t know how to pour from a crowler… YET. Today we are going to figure out, once and for all, how to pour from a crowler, properly.

It’s not like pouring from a crowler is hard…right?

You see, I have been having problems pouring from a crowler. Usually, the beer runs down the side of the crowler as I am pouring or my pour is mostly foam or both.

Maybe you have no problems pouring from a crowler and are wondering why I am so stupid. That’s fine.

I have figured out three ways that work for people. Two of the ways worked for me and one did not. I made a video trying out all three you can watch or read on and I’ll lay them out.

Continue reading “How To Pour From A Crowler When You Suck At It”

How To Day Drink With Beer

Day Drinking kit

Day drinking is glorious. Except when it’s not. Here are five tips on how to day-drink with beer

So, you want to know how to day drink? I got you.

Day drinking does not always have to end badly. If you’re smart about it and have a plan, you can have a delicious pale ale in front of you all day and still make it to the next day just as fresh as those boring-ass sober people.

Even if you day-drink alone, you can come out ahead.

Make a plan and you’ll have a good, fun day and a better next morning. Here is what has worked for me.

1. Start Small

Obvious I know but not everyone does this. You got to start the day with a low ABV beer. Whether you begin your drinking day in the morning with some sort of coffee stout (shout out to Modern Time’s “Blackhouse”), or at noon with a Kolsch or pale, pick a low alcohol percentage.

If you don’t start slow, you’ll be trying to correct it the rest of the day and it will use up too much sobering energy.

2. Stay Hydrated

Water. Always have a water sitting there with you. This is probably the number one tip overall. If you have a glass of water with every beer you drink it will go a long way towards keeping your day going and your wits about you.

I like to mix in caffeine too, about every other drink. There are times of the day when I have a water, a beer and caffeine all going at once.

Here is a rough order I try to stick by:

  • Beer
  • Water
  • Caffeine.
  • Beer.
  • Water.
  • Beer.
  • Caffeine.
  • Beer.
  • Water.
  • Beer.
  • Beer.
  • Water.
  • Bed.

As you can see, there is some work involved and a lot of liquid. Which reminds me, don’t forget to mix in:

3. Food. Eat Some

You must eat like always. Not like you were not going to, of course, but some of us get super bloated and may skip a meal. Don’t. Maybe throw a salad in there too.

Actually, here are some of the best food items to enjoy that help prevent day drinking issues.

  • Pickles
  • Avacado dip
  • A burger
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • 1% Milk

4. Take Breaks But Don’t Stop

Maybe you slow down about midway through your day. That is fine and probably a good idea. But don’t take too long a break. If you do, your body will start sobering up and realizing what a mistake this day has been. Don’t let it. Wait until the end of the day or tomorrow morning for your body to remind you that you’re an idiot.

5. Be Nice To Everyone

Are you mentally in a good place right now? Are you a fun drunk? If you are and you stick to this plan, you and everyone around you can have fun. In fact, you may not ever really get drunk.

Stick To Your Day Drinking Plan!

As proof of this method’s effectiveness, I followed this to the letter on Opening Day of baseball this year and made it all the way to 11 that night – I started drinking at 10 am.

Not only that, I was a delight to everyone all day! Ask anybody. Well, at least I think so. Nobody got openly mad at me, at least.

Nothing ends your previously fun day of drinking quicker than being surly. Nobody wants to deal with you and people close to you will try and shut your day down. And that sucks because you had all those delicious beers left to drink!

Good luck. Cheers!

But Wait!

So I hope you know how to day drink like a pro by now. But in case you feel there will be a time you do not remember to eat and hydrate properly, maybe you should stock-up on one of these things: