Frat boys across the nation, rejoice! The rest of us (spoiler alert): Meh. Behold, Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer. Any resemblance to ABBA or Meryl Streep is purely coincidental.
Thanks to devout garage brewers Tom and Athena Seefurth of suburban Campton Township, we now know the answer to that age-old 3 a.m. question: What would happen if we mated pizza and beer? Hint: Some pairings make better friends than lovers. The beer, now brewed by Sprecher in Wisconsin, earns points for originality (yes, that is basil, garlic, oregano, and tomato you smell), but I haven’t been smacked with this strong a waft of eau de pizza since I let the doors of Chuck E. Cheese swing closed behind me forever.
A few points in the unfiltered ale’s favor: The aroma is more aggressive than the taste, and there’s a subtle but lively carbonation on the tongue. Plus, the Seefurths offer plenty of suggestions for cooking with Mamma Mia!—although that seems to concede the beer’s primary purpose isn’t for drinking. The bottom line: I couldn’t get past the herb’s bitter aftertaste, which, unlike the pleasant tartness of hops, overrides any potential warm, biscuity undertones. Mamma Mia! is worth a try for the novelty factor, but the crowd that would love this beer the most is too young to drink it. Available in one-pint bottles ($1.99) at Binny’s, among other local retailers.