How to Pair Beer With Chicago Style Pizza

San Mateo Pizza Restaurant Shares its Expertise

Chicago Style Pizza in San Mateo with Beer

Like many couples, pizza and beer go together partly because of their commonalities and partly because they contrast enough to complement each other. With so many kinds of pizza on the menu and an ever-increasing choice of beers, the opportunities for interesting and delicious combinations are only growing. So what makes a good pizza-and-beer combination? Unsurprisingly, it’s partly a matter preference; but beyond that, it’s about where you want harmony and where you want variation.

For starters, consider the similarities. Bread and beer go back millennia – both products of grain and fermentation – so the crust is the underpinning of what makes pizza and beer aligned in flavor. This is especially noticeable when the beer is a lager. Its mellower quality parallels the bread’s sweetness and yeastiness. Likewise, cheese also goes along with this mellow element. When you’re eating a Chicago Style pizza with its deep, pan-baked crust, you’re multiplying the beer–bread effect.

If your pizza includes hearty flavors, such as sausage or a dense tomato sauce, then a bolder beer will balance nicely. This could be a stout or a porter, a red or dark ale, or a full-bodied honey beer. On the other hand, mild toppings, such as chicken and most vegetables, are balanced with wheat beer (weissbier and Belgian white), hoppy pilseners, and dry blond ales. Spiciness may be matched by a perky pale ale or IPA.

Dog friendly restaurants San Mateo with beer on tapThen there are the ways in which beer makes a counterpoint to the pizza’s sauce and toppings. Starting with the obvious, there’s the undeniable fact that pizza induces thirst, making beer the hero when it comes along to quench that thirst. The oil in cheese needs something to cut through it and wash it down, and any beer will do that job admirably. Extra-salty ingredients (ahem, anchovies) can make you crave a counterpart in something refreshing, such as an assertive bitter ale. When you’ve got a lot of tanginess in the sauce, a cream ale or amber ale can tame that. A brown beer with a bit of citrus flavor may stay in tune with the sauce’s flavor while also broadening the palate with dark sweetness and/or nuttiness.

So there are quite a few variables to play with while you’re making up your order. Usually the pizza comes first, then the beer to go with it, but hey, there’s no law requiring this. You can always go the other way around and tilt your pizza selection to complement your favorite beer. Or, if you are ordering out with pizza delivery, go with what you have in your refrigerator.

Try Your New-found Knowledge at Windy City Pizza and BBQ Today!

Come on down to Windy City for the best pizza in San Mateo. We offer farm-fresh dining and patio seating, which also makes us one of the top dog-friendly restaurants in San Mateo. We have ten beers on tap, plus more in bottles, to wash it all down! Give us a call today at (650) 578-1942 or order online for take out or delivery. We hope to see you soon!