Five San Jose Pizza and Beer Pairings
To celebrate the end of the workweek, a Saturday afternoon with friends, or a Tuesday you wish were a Friday, beer and pizza is a no-brainer. The San Jose pizza and craft-beer scenes offer a ton of options, but we managed to narrowed them down to five of the best.
Craft brew: Citra single-hop IPA
A Slice of New York makes its pizzas from scratch and relies on simple ingredients to help make what many believe is the best pizza in San Jose. You can’t go wrong with the eatery’s margherita pie: a foldable slice with a garlic-oil base, plum-tomato sauce, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh basil, garlic, and parmesan. Pair this no-frills pizza with Hermitage Brewing’s award-winning Citra single-hop IPA, whose hints of citrus and flowery aromas make it a refreshing choice.
Pizza: JT Supreme
Craft brew: Kölsch I Could
JT McHart’s signature sourdough crust is a sturdy foundation for the litany of delicious toppings on the JT Supreme pizza. Huge chunks of tomato and bell peppers sit alongside italian sausage, pepperoni, salami, mushrooms, olives, and onions. With a pizza this filling, you’ll want a lighter beer that still keeps up with the Supreme’s array of flavors, and Kölsch I Could fits the bill. Crisp and balanced with a malty base, Clandestine Brewing’s take on the German ale pairs perfectly with JT McHart’s robust slice.
Craft brew: wit
The New York–style white pie at Bibo’s eschews red sauce in favor of ricotta cheese, fresh basil, and a layer of the pizzeria’s mozzarella—a blend of buffalo and cow’s milk. How can you complement this classic pie? With an equally quintessential brew. In this case, Strike Brewing Co.’s aptly named wit. Like its brethren, the Belgian-style wheat beer’s orange peel and coriander give it a light, citrusy taste with a hint of zest, which makes for an ideal pairing with the fresh flavors in Bibo’s white pie.
Pizza: Commissioner Gordon
Craft brew: Ironwood Dark brown ale
The brick oven at Oak & Rye gives its Commissioner Gordon pizza a tasty char and crisp crust, which is topped with savory ingredients such as Nueske’s bacon, aged cheddar, and toasted sesame. Pair the Commissioner with a pint of Ironwood Dark, an English-style brown ale from Tied House, one of the Bay Area’s first microbreweries. The robust, award-winning brew features toasted malts, whose flavors hold their own against one of Oak & Rye’s most popular pies.
Craft brew: FSB (Freewheel Special Bitter)
Deciding on just one kind of pizza can be tough. When that’s the case, go for the combo at Milpitas’s Colosseum New York Pizza. This thin-crust pie offers a little of everything, with sweet bell peppers and onions complementing savory sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, and olives. Wash it down with Freewheel’s FSB, a balanced bitter with earthy hops, a dash of caramel, and a creamy finish.