So, honey beer and chocolate beer are pretty common, and everyone and their mother knows about coffee beer, whose release a few years back stirred up a storm of media coverage. Well, a new type of wacky beer is hitting Aurora, and it ain’t pretty: pizza beer. Yes, you heard us. Unlike the other beer flavorings we mentioned, pizza is not usually found in liquid form. Before we address the implications of the union of pizza and beer, let us first try to get a handle on how this is even possible.
Tom Seefurth, an amateur brewer in St Charles, was inspired by how naturally beer seems to pair with pizza. Certainly, the dry, subtle sweetness and carbonation of beer help cut through the greasy spice and carbonized crust of a good slice. Sensing an opportunity (actually, he had a surplus of tomatoes and garlic lying around), Seefurth flavored a barley-based beer with oregano, garlic, basil and tomato, and, believe it or not, actual pieces of real pizza, too. Sounds a little chunky, but the concoction, called Mamma Mia’s Pizza Beer, has already won several awards at homebrew competitions, and is currently being featured at Walter Payton’s Roundhouse in Aurora (205 N Broadway, 630-892-0034).
We don’t entirely know what to make of this. Once the initial shock wears off, it certainly makes sense that savory would work as well as sweet when it comes to beer additives. Garlic in beer? No, it’s not quite the category violation it seems at the outset. After all, beer is more or less just foamy liquid bread - garlic bread is a natural evolution. If executed well, the impulse to combine two great things into one amazing thing is admirable. While we have trouble seeing this as a mass-market product, and we’re not even sure we’d want to drink it with pizza (too much!), we believe Mamma Mia’s Pizza to be a Good Thing. Excellent work adding savory flavors to beer, Mr. Seefurth - can you make curry beer next?
[Photo: Screencap from cbs2chicago showing mini-pizzas being tossed into the brew]