Pizza is a communal food; it brings people together at the dining table. So is beer. And as you already know, each of these taste meticulously great on their own. But what tastes otherworldly is when you pair beer and pizza together. Much like love birds, the two food items, in food heaven, are meant to be together.
As Roman tradizione would have it, the aperitivo ritual is where drinks are drunk before and during the meal. It is rooted in the nation’s culture and ingrained deeply in every Italian individual, both grownups and young adults.
And to talk culturally about a beverage that has long been part of the aperitivo ritual in Italy, Peroni Nastro Azzurro clearly can’t be overlooked. Originating in 1846, Peroni Brewery is famed in Italy — if not worldwide — for its blue ribbon lager. In fact, ‘Nastro Azzurro’ actually translates to ‘blue ribbon’ from Italian.
Noted as a summertime beer, Peroni boasts a whiff of roasted-corn malt and a semi sweetness touched with hoppy and bitter smacks that come as an aftertaste. Light and refreshingly crisp, the beer makes a perfect counterpart to all types of food, pairing especially well with tomato-based dishes. But having originated in Italy and being enjoyed by the Italians, the beer was, no doubt, naturally paired with an array of Italian fare.
To marry with the culture of the Mediterranean beer, we wanted to keep the pairing true to originality, and went on our Italian food claw looking for the best Italian eats in town that would match fairly well with our best beer of choice. Undeterred, we navigated to Peppina, the greatest Neapolitan pizza source in town, where they serve mozzarella-loaded pies straight out of a wood-fired oven.
To learn how to best pair beer with pizza, we got right down to business and asked Executive Chef Manuelo Pintore which signature pies along with other drool-inducing Peppina dishes would match well with Peroni beer. Here are the dishes to devour whilst downing that sun-gold booze at Peppina. Let’s hop to it.
Peppina (THB 520)
Booze and food pairings are all about contrast: it’s either the dish or the spirit that should have a dominant flavour, just so that the two won’t clash and overpower each other. For the signature “Peppina” topped with Pomodori del Piennolo (sweet Southern tomatoes) and fior di latte (Neapolitan fresh cow milk cheese with basil), it is a humble yet handsome pizza that boasts a deliciously acidic and fatty contrast to the sweet-refreshing beer.
Summertime (THB 420)
The Summertime pie crafted out of multigrain dough, ribbons of smoked tuna, mozzarella fior di latte, yellow tomatoes, caramelised onion and a handful of wild rockets, conjures a sense of summer storia in Italy. You got the briny taste from the fish and the farm-fresh flavours from all the veggies, whilst still getting the smooth creaminess from the cheese and nuttiness from the blistered multigrain bread. Complete it with Peroni’s bitter undertones which will perfectly highlight the complex flavours of this pie.
Mediterranean (THB 520)
If your ideal pizza involves having an anchovy on it, by all means, get the Mediterranean. The dough is sprinkled with tomatoes, creamy burrata, caper leaves grown in Salina, and as the centrepiece of the pie, Cetara anchovies. Spiked with some serious briny tastes, the pizza together with just enough hop presence from Peroni beer will really allow the ocean-y flavours of this pie to shine.
Ripieno Fritto (THB 430)
For this oil-enriched fried pizza, you need no napkin. Let the beer be your palate cleanser and wash down the scrumptious grease. Stuffed with tasty side players like ricotta cheese, salami, mozzarella fior di latte, and tomatoes, Ripieno Fritto needs a slightly malty beer with crisp and clean flavours like that of Peroni’s to cut through the fat.
Other dishes that pair well with Peroni beer
Spicy Baby Chicken (THB 520)
Known to be a Mediterranean beer, Peroni is, of course, a hot-day beverage that can pair well with spicy food. Rubbed with smoking-hot paprika, the baby chicken then gets grilled until the skin is caramelised and browned throughout, whilst the insides remain juicy and soft.
Beef Carpaccio (THB 680)
Peppina’s Beef Carpaccio can easily make a statement at the dining table even before the pizza is served. Featuring a vibrant medley of Mediterranean goodies: fresh artichoke, truffle, bits of 30 month-aged parmesan and paper-thin premium beef slices, the dish boasts robust meaty flavours that can be perfectly smoothened and washed down with the soft, malty, modest taste of the beer.
Pork Cheek Ragu Pasta (THB 450)
Braised pork cheek and beer: you can never go wrong with these two. Once cooked to succulence, the pork cheek yields a fork-tender texture that gives the ragu a melt-in-your-mouth effect. Pair it with beer and watch as the lager brings out the umami factors from the rich meat to your palates.
Peppina, 27/1 Sukhumvit 33, Bangkok, +662 119 7677
Open: Mon-Fri, 11:30 am-3 pm for lunch and 5-11 pm for dinner; Sat-Sun, 11:30 am-11 pm.