Beer n' pizza: Two great tastes for a Super Bowl score

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Colburn

The Super Meal

The Event: The Super Bowl! Every year, 32 NFL teams battle on the gridiron each week with one single goal in mind: to reach the most prestigious event in all of pro sports, the Super Bowl. On Sunday February 4th, 2012 in Indianapolis, IN the high-powered New England Patriots face the gritty New York Giants. The winner will be forever etched in the annals of history as the winner of Super Bowl XLVI, or Super Bowl 46 for those roman-numerically impaired fans.

This pinnacle event in football is more than just a game, however. It’s an event nearing holiday status. People across the land flock together to watch the talented but cheesy halftime show, the most expensive television commercials in the land, and hopefully a good game. Of course they also want to chow down and tip back a few as they watch this overblown media extravaganza.

The Meal: With the game and the socializing at parties, hosts need some delicious yet simple fare to complement the suds. Grilling or barbecue is always a solid choice, but in early February, it’s not a realistic option for many parts of the nation. Beer and pizza go together as well as…well… beer and football. Combine all three and every fan will be happy, regardless of the score.

Many simply order pizza on game day from one of the mediocre mega chains and that’s OK — if you like the flavor of lukewarm cardboard. It’s easier, cheaper, and tastier to make your own. Plus it’s easy to control the ingredients. Not enough cheese? Well just put a few more ounces on that bad boy and uh…schedule that cholesterol screening tomorrow. No one wants a veggie tray on this day, nor do they want a cupcake for dessert. This manly event’s all about a authentic crust with lots of sauce, meat, veggies, and cheese-oven baked to mouth watering perfection.

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Colburn

Four Beers for the Big Game

The Beers: Both New York and Boston have some wonderful, drinkable brews available. To commemorate this historic event, we’ll recommend two distinct beers from a brewery in each town. The beer styles chosen from each brewery pair well with pizza, a premium American Lager and an IPA.

Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams): (Brewery Website) New England’s storied micro has been serving beer in the greater Boston area since the days when Steve Grogan was connecting with Stanley Morgan (1985 actually). Sam Adams — the brewer, patriot — has won even more trophys than sloppy Bill and Touchdown Tom Brady.

Sam Adams Boston Lager The famous 4.9% ABV, cold-fermented flagship is served nearly everywhere. Smooth and drinkable, this balanced, medium-bodied lager features spicy and slightly citrus German hop flavors on the finish. There is some complexity with some chewy malts and fruity notes but this one appeals to a mass audience and is a great choice for a large Super Bowl party.

Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA This fairly potent (60 IBU) IPA has been poured only since 2009. The German, English, and American hops all originate from the 48th latitude of the Northern hemisphere. Citrus flavors start out the hop voyage, followed by grapefruit notes and a piney, bitter finish. Amber malt flavors try to compete but fall behind around half time. Overall, a good IPA but best served only to the craft beer hop heads at the party.

Brooklyn Brewery: (Brewery Website) New York’s large, revered craft brewery has been around since the days when Lawrence Taylor and Leonard Marshall were terrorizing opposing quarterbacks (1988). The ever-expanding brewery will quintuple production capacity by 2013.

Brooklyn Lager Brooklyn’s 5.2% ABV “pre prohibition” style amber lager was their inaugural offering and is still their best selling product. Obviously dry-hopped, it smells wonderful with a great floral, ginger ale, and perfume nose. Rich caramel malt flavors make themselves known first with distinctive lager yeast notes kicking in mid-sip. The finish is surprisingly bitter and complex for a lager complete with an earthy, resinous and spicy hop ending. Bitter and hop-filled for a lager and not as clean as many, but it’s still an interesting and drinkable choice that’ll be enjoyed at any party.

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Colburn

A Super Pie

Brooklyn East India IPA This English style 6.9% ABV ale is modeled after the original IPAs that made the trek from England to India way back in the mid 1800s. The malt profile is dead on: Round and fruity English malts lead into mellow deep caramel and slightly roasted malt flavors that caress the taste buds. Out-of-place grapefruit hops barge on through behind the malts and they’re joined by some spicy, resin, and candy hop notes along with a focused bitterness on the finish. Medium-bodied and silky with a lot of competing flavors but it’s still drinkable, especially for an IPA.

The Pizza: A crispy, thin-crust style pizza with pizzazz. Modeled after the now defunct famous and delicious Pizza Flame pizza in Fridley, MN where your favorite beer reviewer worked for fifteen years.

Pizza Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons dry active yeast or 1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water ~ 90 degrees
1.5 teaspoon sugar
1.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound bread flour

Directions (for Kitchen Aid Mixer):

1. Add yeast and warm water to mixer bowl, let sit for about 2 minutes to activate yeast.
2. Add olive oil, sugar, salt, and garlic powder. Mix together with a spoon.
3. Add the bread flour, attach dough hook then mix on low for about 30 seconds or so. Turn off mixer and mix by hand for a 30 seconds to get the dough off of the sides of the bowl. Repeat as necessary and mix until tacky/sticky.
4. When tacky, place on an oiled plastic plate, cover with oiled bags and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours to rise.
5. Put dough in refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours to set.

Pizza Sauce Recipe (rich and zesty):

Ingredients:

(1) 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
(1) 8 oz can tomato sauce
(1) 6 oz can tomato puree
3 teaspoons dry Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)

Pizza Sauce Directions: Combine ingredients in blender or mixer, turn on low and check frequently until desired thickness is achieved. Store covered in refrigerator.

Pizza Directions:

1. Preheat oven or grill to at least 475 degrees.
2. Weigh out 5 oz. of dough and let sit for 10-15 minutes — it‘s easier to work with warm.
3. Flatten dough ball on wooden pizza peel or, alternatively, parchment paper. Make sure to flour the pizza peel or parchment paper well beforehand. Flour the top of the dough as well.
4. Roll out with rolling pin until thin, add plenty of flour on the bottom and top throughout.
5. Add sauce, desired toppings and cheese. Fresh is always best!
6. Slide pizza onto stone using pizza peel or place parchment paper and pizza onto stone.
7. Cook pizza!

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