Ahead of National Pizza Week from 6-12 February, Beergenie and Domino's have teamed up to test beer and pizza pairings... with the help of beer and pizza lovers, the Saracens rugby team. Whether your preference is for nice and spicy, mega meaty or something veggie, the team has found the perfect beer to wash it all down.
Best for Mediterranean food lovers
Pizza: Florentine - baby spinach, SunBlush baby plum tomatoes and Greek feta cheese on a fresh, thin crust base
Beer: Birra Moretti (4.6% ABV) or Erdinger Weiss (5.3% ABV)
Birra Moretti complements the Florentine pizza
The team described the Bira Moretti as "balanced and refreshing" and said that "its smoothness complemented the pizza". Gently sweet and elegant, it lifts the pizza and adds a light creaminess. The second most popular choice for the Florentine pizza was the Erdinger Weiss, a German wheat beer, which the lads described as "sleek, creamy and utterly pleasing".
Best for meat-lovers
Pizza: The New Yorker - pepperoni, ham, bacon and mushrooms
Beer: Worthington White Shield (5.6% ABV) or The Brooklyn Lager (5.2% ABV)
A New Yorker goes very well with Worthington White Shield lager
Worthington White Shield won hands-down with the New Yorker. Defined as "sweet" and "nicely dry", the decisive character of this beer tickled the team's palates and proved to be a great match for the pizza. "The hops merged wonderfully with the pepperoni," they said. As an alternative choice, the team opted for Brooklyn Lager. Made with German Hallertauer, Vanguard and Cascade hops, it's late-hopped for extra bitterness. The result is a nose overflowing with hoppy and herbal aromas and a full and rich palate. The team gave it a well-deserved silver medal for its "juicy, fruit bitterness".
Best for turning up the heat
Pizza: Tandoori Hot - Tandoori chicken, onions, mushrooms, green peppers and jalapeño peppers
Beer: Cobra (5% ABV) or Thornbridge Jaipur IPA (5.9% ABV)
Spice fans will appreciate a Tandoori Hot pizza/Cobra combination.
The popular low-carbonated Indian beer Cobra was the first choice for its "soft" and "easy-going" aroma, which soothed the characteristic spiciness of the pizza toppings. Runner-up was the decisive strength of the Thornbridge Jaipur IPA. This beer immediately fills the mouth with spicy, resonant hops, and its "warming" character proved to be a second great match to the pizza.
Best for big appetites
Pizza: Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Passion - extra pepperoni and double mozzarella cheese on a tomato sauce base
Beer: St Austell Korev (4.8% ABV) or Peroni Gran Riserva (6.6% ABV)
Meat-lovers should try the Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Passion and a St Austell Korev
The winning lager with the Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Passion was the St Austell Korev. Our tasting panel decided that this beer, crafted using the finest lager malt from barley grown locally in Cornwall, was "spicy and bitter" with "crisp smoothness that was soft enough to mean you can enjoy both beer and pizza". Runner-up was the Peroni Gran Riserva, defined by the team as "soft and comforting", and unleashing great barley flavours.
What do you think? What's your perfect pairing? Do you agree with these tips? Let us know in the comments below.