When it comes to food and beverage pairings, nothing seems to go together better than pizza & beer (sorry wine and cheese boards). There’s something so magical about biting into a steaming hot slice and chasing it all down with a cold brew. But what if you could enjoy the taste of a pizza inside a beer? Now that’s darn near miraculous.
May I introduce you to Pizza Ships, a hazy pale ale hopped with vic secret and styrian wolf and brewed with, wait for it, pizza. And this isn’t “pizza flavoring” or some sort of pizza spice mix. No, there was a fully baked pizza brewing in this beer before it hit the big glass (or can). Fruity and herby, this non-filtered beer is rather like a lighter version of the best pizza you can eat. Papa John’s eat your heart out.
Meet Gary Sernack, Head Brewer and Part Owner of Bhramari Brewing Company located in Asheville, North Carolina. With fifteen years of cooking and ten years of home-brewing under his belt, Gary is no stranger to trying out new flavors and pushing the envelope when it comes to interesting beers. Previously the Bhramari Brewing Company has come up with some truly unique beers such as The Big Le”stout”ski, a White Russian oaked milk stout and Unicorn Death Wish, a Berliner Weisse with rainbow sherbet ice cream. But their Pizza Ships totally takes the cake, er, pizza pie.
How its Made
To begin, Gary and his team started with the pizza. He knew that adding in garlic and oregano, characteristics of pizza sauce, would overpower the craft beer so a simple but beautiful margarita pizza was the perfect choice to encompass the flavors of mozzarella, basil, tomatoes and crust. The Bhramari crew even went as far as making their own dough from scratch, sourcing heirloom tomatoes, growing their own basil and stretching their own mozzarella.
From there, the pizza was placed in a cheesecloth type bag (think tea bag) and added into the fermentation vessel during the second dry hop. Once the pizza was steeped into the liquid, the bag was removed and the beer process went on like normal. Once ready the beer was placed into pint cans designed by local artist, Chris Evans.
Currently the beer is available in select bottle shops and tap rooms in North Carolina which you can see here. The beer is also for sale in the Bhramari Brewing Company taproom on draft and in pint cans. But you better act fast, there’s no saying when this pizza beer will run out.