In devising the best craft beer and pizza pairings, I asked an expert in the field. See which beers Lefty recommends to go with our party plan of creative pizzas: What goes best with meaty topping, with vegetable toppings, and with cheese-focused pizzas.

For this party theme focused on making creative pizzas, I delve into the world of craft beers—and asked the founder of The Craft Beer Network for his pairing suggestions. Leftonred Atanycorner (aka Lefty) is not only a well-known craft beer populist, he is also seventh-generation New Yorker—so he really knows pizza. His suggestions match craft beers to the toppings on my menu.

If your passion is craft beers you can find a schedule of upcoming tastings on Lefty’s website: You may run into him either photographing or orchestrating.

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To complement a meat-centric pizza: go with a smoky beer

Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout Peated made with peated whiskymalt.
Blind Bat Hellsmoke Porter [ NYC ] Robust, brewed with barley with the smoky aspectes coming from alder and applewood.

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To balance a cheese-centric pizza: go with an IPA

Founders Centennial IPA Has a floral bouquet with citrus accents, and a finish not too bitter.
Blue Point Hoptical Illusion IPA [ NYC ] Hops balances malt in a golden India Pale Ale.

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To complement a veggie-centric pizza: go with a wheat beer

Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat German-style Hefe In the style of a traditional German beers, with more wheat and yeast.
Bronx Pale Ale [ NYC ] five different barley malts, offering caramel, biscuit, and nutty flavors. Hops add an intense floral and citrus aroma.

To contrast a veggie-centric pizza: go with a double IPA

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid A bounty of Hops and major rich Malt taste.
Singlecut Beersmiths Billy Full-Stack Double IPA [ NYC ] Smooth and citrusy.

See this informative website, devoted exclusively to rating craft beers, if you are a beer lover.

See more ideas for creating an exciting pizza buffet in 03 Easy Pizza