"Pizza Beer" was developed Labor Day, 2006 by Tom and Athena Seefurth in our home brewery in Campton Township, IL. It all started with a surplus of tomatoes, a bag of garlic & an idea that started early in the spring when we planted our garden herbs.
The goal was to create a beer that would pair with a wide variety of foods, especially our favorite, Pizza! In the end, we were pleasantly surprised that this "mess" turned out to be the best thing since the guy with chocolate that bumped into Ralph Mouth & mixed up the chocolate with the peanut butter! Indeed, the world will love "Pizza Beer".
Facing a difficult task, we immediately did an internet search to gather information on using the "oddball" ingredients in creating a beer. Certainly someone had published such a recipe! We found beer made with garlic, hemp seed, coriander, hot peppers, maple syrup, honey, citrus peels & more. But what about tomatoes & the possibility of combining all of our favorite flavors into this beer? We then grabbed our favorite book written by a fellow Chicago Beer Society member, Randy Mosher. He wrote a book called "Radical Brewing" which has been read cover to cover a few times. Randy mentions a lot weirder stuff than pizza spices. He talks about mushrooms, hot rocks & stuff that is really radical! In a quandary, we called one of our best friends & creative brewmasters in the world, Kris Kalav. We told him of our quest to make this really cool brew & wanted to know if he had any experience brewing with tomatoes. After he stopped laughing, we bounced a few ideas around and Voila! "Pizza Beer" was on it's way to fame. To our knowledge, our home brewed concoction is the "World's First Culinary Beer."
Now, being homebrewers, we enjoy the freedom to create whatever we want. We usually refer to a book by Ray Daniels called "Designing Great Beers" when creating a style of beer that we intend on submitting to a contest. We usually concoct the recipe by memory & measure ingredients the way your grandmother did, pinch of this, smidgen of that. Something happened that day. We figured if this really turned out like we want it to, we better be able to duplicate it! Lo and behold, the amazing "Pizza Beer" was born.
"Pizza Beer" IS A DEBRIS FREE product. The Margarita pizza is put into the mash & steeped like a tea bag. A whole wheat crust made with water, flour & yeast is topped with tomato, oregano, basil & garlic. The essence of the pizza spices is washed off with hot water and filtered into a brewpot, where it is boiled for a long, long time. During the process, we add hops & spices in a cheesecloth type bag & filter the cooled liquid into a fermentation vessel. (big glass 6 gallon water jug). After a week or two, the beer is good to go. Keg it or bottle it.
Questions about Tom Seefurth's Mamma Mia Pizza Beer can be directed to Chef's Tom & Athena at: