Is there any combination more beloved for a casual, Friday-night dinner than pizza and beer? Basic, yes. But boring? It doesn’t have to be. There’s no reason to settle for sad, greasy pies from a mega-sized chain and weak, flavorless beer. You can just as easily get slices of Saint Paul pizza that are lovingly handmade, covered in exciting toppings, or practically bursting with farm-fresh cheese. Washed down with a Twin Cities craft brew, and your dinner just went from ho-hum to heavenly. We’ve picked four of our favorite Saint Paul pizza joints and paired their fare with craft beer so you’ll know exactly what to pick up the next time hunger strikes.
Cossetta Alimentari | Dangerous Man Brewing CompanyPizza: sausage and mushroomCraft brew: bière de gardeOpen since 1911, Cossetta Alimentari has had over 100 years to perfect its pizza-making legacy. All of its ingredients are carefully selected, from the hand-kneaded dough to the cheese sourced from an independent maker. But it’s the housemade italian sausage that really stands out, which is why we recommend Dangerous Man’s bière de garde to go with it. The French-style beer is dry enough to cut through the tasty grease of the sausage, and its earthiness will make the mushrooms’ flavors pop.Red’s Savoy Pizza | Summit Brewing CompanyPizza: bacon cheeseburgerCraft brew: extra pale aleWhat do you get when you strip away the bells and whistles? Classic, Minnesota-style pie. Grab a square (yes, a square, not a triangular slice) of cheesy goodness, and the Land of 10,000 Lakes will have you hankering for 10,000 pizzas, especially if you stop at local favorite Red’s Savoy. Called “the best square-cut pizza on earth” by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, its bacon-cheeseburger pizza is a standout on the menu, thanks to a flavorful mix of pickles, onions, cheddar, and ground beef. The hoppy bite of Summit’s extra pale ale accentuates the cheddar’s tanginess while cutting through the richness of the meat.Punch Pizza | 612 BrewPizza: NapoliCraft brew: Mary Ann lagerPunch Pizza isn’t messing around when it comes to making authentic Neapolitan pizzas. The pizzeria knows the perfect pie only needs three things: fresh mozzarella, crushed tomatoes, and a chewy, blackened, and blistered crust. That’s why we recommend ordering like a purist and getting the Napoli. In addition to mozzarella and crushed tomatoes, the pie is topped with oregano. Wash it down with a glass of Mary Ann, a light lager from 612 Brew that gives the classic a little extra kick (kinda like the Napoli’s oregano) with ginger.The Italian Pie Shoppe | Boom Island Brewing CompanyPizza: stuffed pizzaCraft brew: Silvius BPASometimes a slice of pizza will do, and sometimes you need something with some heft. That’s where The Italian Pie Shoppe’s stuffed pizza comes in. This monster of a pizza goes above and beyond your standard and deep-dish pies, piling loads of cheese and toppings onto a huge crust before adding another layer of dough that’s topped with spicy red sauce. And although Boom Island recommends pairing its Silvius belgian pale ale with Thanksgiving dinner, we think its light hops and delicate spices match this feast of a pizza just as well.Photo: Newnham Park Pizza & Beer Event by Locus Research under CC BY 2.0