International Beer Day

International Beer Day: The Perfect Beers to Pair with Pizza

We’re sure you don’t need an excuse to crack open a beer next time you fire up your pizza oven, but if you do, here’s everything you need to know about International Beer Day and what varieties of beers go with the vast array of pizzas you might be cooking.

What is International Beer Day?

Originally started to show appreciation for beer makers everywhere, the founders started in the United States. More specifically, Santa Cruz, California. The celebration which takes place on the 4th of August each year, was founded with only 3 principles in mind:

  • To gather with friends and enjoy the taste of beer.
  • To celebrate those responsible for brewing and serving beer.
  • To unite the world under the banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations together on a single day.

To say that it’s been wildly successful is an understatement, with the day coming to show appreciation for bar staff and beer technicians too! Considering it started in 2007, it is now on the last count celebrated in 207 cities, 50 countries across 6 continents. We’re pretty sure it would be celebrated in Antarctica too if the penguins develop a taste for beer! So how can you celebrate on International Beer Day? Well, if you have a pizza oven, you’re already halfway there, so why not try these beer and pizza pairings to make the most out of International Beer Day.

At a Glance


Spicy Pizzas

Light Lager, European Pilsner or Golden Ale

Fish Pizzas

Classical wheat beers, citrusy beers for anchovies

Sweet Pizzas

Golden ale, Amber ales

Meaty Pizzas

Refreshing Hoppy IPA, or Brown/Dark Ale

Vegetarian Pizzas

Generally any light lager. Amber ales pair well with one vegetable pizza such as mushroom. Malty or fruity beers are also a good option. Farmhouse ales for olives, dark honey ales with hints of molasses for vegetarian pesto’s. Scotch ales

hot pepperoni pizza
Spicy Pizza

When it comes to spicy pizzas, there’s often a lot of debate about what’s spicy and what’s not. Some people can load up the fresh red chillies and not even break sweat, whereas for some the merest suggestion of heat throws them into a frenzy. So, for the purposes here, let’s use a common pizza ingredient, pepperoni as our example. Pepperoni is a variety of spicy salami made from cured pork and beef seasoned with paprika or other chilli peppers. It’s not usually insanely hot but does have a suggestion of spice to it which needs a light, refreshing beer to marry with. A light lager, European Pilsner or golden ale are the perfect cold thirst-quenching solutions you need after the background heat of the pepperoni or equivalently spicy topping.


Fish Pizzas

The type of fish you enjoy here will certainly determine the beer. Fish such as tuna will benefit with a classical wheat beer to add a hoppy flavour to an otherwise clean yet salty tasting pizza topping. Conversely you might like to try something a bit sweeter to balance up the flavours. Anchovies on pizza are always controversial, but when paired with a citrusy pale ale to refresh your palate after the intense flavour of the anchovies, they really are a winner. Another point to make here are the usual accompanying toppings on fish pizza. Usually, olives and/or capers aren’t too far away, which also add a salty note which needs to be balanced up.

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Sweet Pizzas

Love it or hate it, Hawaiian Pizza is as popular as ever! Combining sweet and savoury, Hawaiian pizza is best paired with either a golden ale or light beer or lager to accentuate the sweetness and fruitiness of the pineapple.

Also, if fruity flavours really are your thing, you could pair with a fruit-based ale such as Blue Moon which further enhances the flavours of the pineapple and contrasts really well with the slightly salty flavours of the ham.

Meaty Pizzas

When it comes to meat, you can’t beat a refreshing hoppy IPA, or brown or dark ale. Try to opt for one that balances the type of meat you have on your pizza. Whichever meat you choose, whether it be ham, salami, pepperoni, beef, sausage or meatballs, the charred topping with a soft bite on top of the satisfying crunch of pizza will leave your taste buds tingling. As a rule of thumb, try a lighter ale, lager or IPA for the spicy meats we mentioned above, and darker ale for heavier meat such as beef/meatballs which will bring out the savoury flavours really well, much like how you might have a rich, full bodied red wine with a juicy steak.

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Vegetarian Pizzas

You really can’t go wrong with beer when it comes to vegetarian pizza. Any cold or fresh lager will act as a refreshing counterpart to vegetables, although some beers will really enhance and draw out flavours. Some suggestions here include amber ales with a standalone vegetable pizza such as mushroom. The sweetness of the ale will fuse with the natural earthy taste of the mushrooms, leaving sweet afternotes.

A hoppy ale will also counteract well with the tartness of olives, where sweeter darker honey ales will balance well with a slightly richer, intense vegetarian pesto pizza. If you’re catering for family or friends, anything malty or fruity will be an excellent accompaniment to give choice for your guests.

There are many mouth-watering combinations when it comes to pairing beer with pizza, and we just don’t have the room to go into them all! If you need a pizza oven, accessories, fuel or anything else to help make the perfect International Beer Day, we are here to help.

Call us on 01423 608 648 for help and advice

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