We’ve joked about it, dreamt about it, maybe even mistakenly tried to concoct it ourselves but the ultimate flavor fusion of pizza and beer has been under our noses all along. One of the more hospitable bars in Brooklyn, One Stop Beer Shop (134 Kingsland Ave., Greenpoint), offers the hoppy unicorn as part of its beer society selection. Mama Mia’s Pizza Beer is number 21 of 40 bottled beers to plough through before landing your name on their coveted wall. But does this flavor marriage taste like all our hopes and dreams?
One of the bartenders warned that the pizza beer is less sought after than it is avoided, and it’ll also set you back $7 for a bottle. But no one ever said novelty was cheap and I was too curious about this bottle of fermented Italian spices to pass it up.
Texture: Flat beer, thin beer. I got the idea it had been sitting in a basement or distributor for a good while before finding its way to One Stop.
Smell: It’s the spices that hit you first — oregano, then garlic powder (maybe?). Then it’s the smell of undercooked pizza crust and, once a few more seconds go by, the flat beer smell bursts through the open bottle like a geyser full of frat house hangovers.
Taste: It starts off fine but goes rapidly down hill with every sip. The very first “note” is yeast, which, is that even a note? It hits you in the face and you have to wait—like look around the room and check your watch, wait—to get the beer flavor to come through. Initially, it isn’t too bad. The novelty is intriguing and it tastes like you’re guzzling a Natty Light to wash away the taste of a just-swallowed microwaved Ellio’s you drowned in oregano.
As you work your way through the bottle though, the flavors become less distinct, melding into this awful medley that should balance the palette but instead inches toward the taste equivalent of the brown note. If you take it slow, it’s not so bad if only for the fact that you’re drinking a fucking pizza beer.
Is it worth it?: Yes, to at least try once. If I hadn’t already tried it, I’d definitely buy it. But since I have, I definitely won’t. Capisce?
Note: Pizza Beer does not reflect the overall quality of One Stop Beer Shop (in the slightest). For a good drink, try the Margabucha.
Follow Katie for more great tastes that don’t quite go together at @katie_capri