Some things are just commonly compatible:  Hot Dogs and Baseball, Nascar and Mullets, Beer blogs and the their insanely cool authors, etc… When it comes to beer, perhaps the most common food congeniality that comes to mind is beer and pizza.  In fact, a top google search term is “beer and pizza.”  At the mention of this inseparable pair, I am reminded of a night eight years ago in which some college buddies and I, the hell-raisers we thought we were, ordered a Papa John’s pizza and picked up a twelve pack of the champagne of beers.  Despite the poor beer choice, I remember being caught up in the slendor of flavors.  (Don’t judge me too harshly…I was 21 and had not yet discovered the delights of craft beer!)

So recently, when the wife and I had a hankering for pizza, instead of hitting up Papa John’s, we hit our pantry of ingredients and created a delicious homemade Italian delight.  The crust was made using my favorite of ingredients…beer.  Beer is a fantastic substitute for time and quick rising yeast, as the carbonation simulates hours of natural rising from raw yeast, as well as imparting desired bready and beer flavors into the dough.  Anytime I can cook with beer the resulting creating is much more enjoyable, for novelty’s sake alone.  The sauce utilized red wine, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, brown sugar, and a secretive blend of ingredients.  With plenty of delicious toppings (Fuji mushrooms, tomato, olives, etc.) and mozzarella, the resulting pizza was amazing.

Fortunately, I did not need to run to the store for a brew…my cellar was stocked with home brewed Trappist style ale, that–artistic biased aside–is not only a great beer, but perfectly complimented the high quality flavor of the pizza.  The spiced sweetness from the Belgian yeast strain and dark candy sugar easily embraced the rich sweet-tart sauce and flaky beer crust!  Nothing compares to eating a meal you created from scratch while drinking a beer you raised from a mixture of raw ingredients.

A little older, a little bigger, and wiser, beer and pizza are still a favorite combination of mine; however evolved the appreciation may be.  Does pizza and beer hold a special place in your heart?  What are your favorite beer and food pairings?