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Let’s Celebrate National Beer And Pizza Day!

Thursday, October 7th, 2021
two women at table with feast of pizza, beer, wine, and sides on table

If you love pizza and beer, October 9th is your day to celebrate this delicious combo! Wondering how you can toast to your favorite flavors? Share some facts around the dinner table! Here is some history about beer and pizza you might not have known.

The history of pizza and beer

This holiday started fairly recently, in 2016, and was created by a web designer named Nick Saulino. Like so many others, he appreciated the taste of beer and pizza and wanted a day to celebrate them. He was the first to call for National Beer and Pizza day. But, that is far from the complete history of pizza or beer.

The early history of pizza

Pizza has long been a favorite in many regions and comes in a large variety of styles. The earliest forms of this dish were more like flatbreads and were consumed in Egypt, Greece, and Italy. The modern pizza was developed in Naples, Italy in the 18th century as a means for poor workers to eat on the go.

The poorest in the city of Naples, known as lazzaroni, enjoyed the simplest (and often most delicious) forms of this dish. They were sold by street vendors who would cut slices to fit a person’s budget (or appetite) and had toppings like salt, lard, basil, cheese, and tomatoes.

The Ultimate at 575 Pizzeria

When pizza began spreading, gourmets and chefs did not appreciate its beauty or flavor. It was even described by Samuel Morse (the inventor of the telegraph) as a “species of the most nauseating cake…” in 1831. It was most popular because of its low prices, which is one reason why it ended up spreading around the world. Because it was associated with the lower status of the lazzaroni, however, it did not take off until 1889 when the Italian unification occurred alongside the marriage of Umberto I and Queen Margherita.

When the queen tired of their fancy French fare, local pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito was summoned to give her a taste of local cuisine. He made three types of pizza for her. One had caciocavallo (a type of cheese), lard, and basil while another had cecenielli (or whitebait). The third was the version she enjoyed the most, with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes. He named it the pizza Margherita after her. Because the queen enjoyed it so much, the status of pizza was elevated into something the whole world could enjoy, not just lazzaroni.

Pizza as we know it today

Even though pizza was seen as acceptable to those of any status, it didn’t leave Naples very quickly. In the 1930s, when migrants started leaving the city, they took the dish with them. During the invasion of Allied troops in 1934, pizza became even more popular. In the post-war world, pizza was considered a true Italian food and it started spreading in different forms throughout Italy with the help of tourism.

Pizza in the United States began its infamous rise to fame when Italian immigrants came to the country. The first dedicated pizzeria, called Lombardi’s, opened in 1905 in New York City. As the population stretched across the country, so did pizza. It was often made by people who were not Italian to fit local cuisine and tastes. Styles like The Chicago deep dish, Rocky Mountain Pie, and Hawaiian grew in popularity.

Since the 1950s, when technology and innovation boomed, pizza has become a staple in many forms. Here are some examples of how it changed from its original fast food form in Naples.

  • With the development of freezers, frozen pizzas could be purchased for cheap prices to be consumed more often. This meant that recipes had to change, including how the sauce was used and what types of cheese could be included. (Here at 575°, we’ve even developed recipes for fresh Take N Bake pizzas that can be cooked right away or frozen!)
  • The commercialization of pizza is also noteworthy thanks to vehicles and fast times. The first national pizza delivery brand was Domino’s.
  • Pizza today is no longer most popular in its original form, which unsettles many pizza purists. You’d be hard-pressed not to find a pizza parlor in any city around the globe that doesn’t offer a unique variant.

Beer from then till now

Beer, like pizza, is made in many varieties and it is one of the oldest beverages out there. The brewing process was first recorded in 5,000 B.C by the Egyptians, who used the drink in special ceremonies. It is thought that the ancient Mesopotamians were the first brewers, though, with some evidence dating back to around 10,000 B.C. Eventually, beer made it into Europe where it became a staple. It was consumed both for its nutritional value and as a safer alternative to water.

Beer brewing as it is thought of today actually started in Europe in the Middle Ages. Monks were known to have played an integral role in the craft of brewing, with almost all monasteries holding an onsite brewery. They discovered that adding bitter hops made fermented drinks taste better. Monks across Europe developed different innovations too, including cold storing (also known as lagering).

Different styles developed in different areas, each for varying purposes, including pale ales, porters, and stouts. India pale ale, for example, was developed when England needed longer-lasting brews to ship to posts halfway around the globe.

Beer made into the New World with English explorers, who made sure to prioritize building permanent brewery structures. By 1810, New York had 42 breweries. In the mid-1800s, beer styles were changing. Lighter Pilsner-style lagers and pale ales started to become popular. Today, there are so many different styles, brands, and brews available that it is a challenge to try them all!

How you can celebrate beer and pizza

This is now considered a classic combo and is used for college grad parties, game nights, and dates, among other gatherings. It brings people together in a way that only delicious food can. The best way to celebrate National Beer and Pizza day is to get some of your favorite pies and pints to enjoy with family and friends! Here are some of our recommendations.

  • Porters and Stouts: Try these beers with meaty pizzas like our Double D’s Triple Pep or The Bender.
  • IPA’s: Another drink that goes great with meat pizzas, you’re sure to find a tasty IPA that will pair well with our Omni pizza, voted 2014 Winner of Best Overall Pizza in America by Urbanspoon.
  • Pale Ales and Pilsners: Lighter pizzas with chicken or veggies are great paired with these beers. Try The Danford or The Squillace to get the most out of this combo!

Stop by 575° Pizzeria on October 9th!

Come celebrate National Beer and Pizza day with us! We offer a great selection of beers as well as specialty pizzas, wine, desserts, and more! View our Menu to see what we are cooking, and don’t forget to register for Rewards. Stop by one of our Locations at Hillside or Civic Circle or call 806-322-5575 to order to-go and enjoy your pizza and beer at home!