Ask A Brewer: Thin Crust vs. Deep Dish Edition 

click to enlarge Flat 12's Erik Fox and Black Acre's Steve Ruby
  • Flat 12's Erik Fox and Black Acre's Steve Ruby

We have a lot of fun asking our Indiana brewing community questions we ponder about life, love, and homebrewing. We've never let them talk amongst themselves, though, until this issue. We got reader favorite answerers Steve Ruby and Erik Fox together to debate one of the great mysteries of our time: the superiority of deep dish or thin crust pizza, though Steve did initally reject the line of questioning in typical lawyer-turned-brewer style, if that's a thing. Without much more introduction, here are they guys laying down the crust law.

Steve Ruby: I find the question inherently flawed, but I understand the spirit of it. So in that spirit, will answer it and say I am a deep dish person. I am from Illinois, but that's not the reason. It's everything that's delicious about a thin crust pizza, amplified. Want a delicious crust? You've got a bunch of it. Delicious toppings and a shit ton of cheese? You've got a ton of it right there. The only thing I ever hear about it is "It's like a casserole," well woopdefuckin' do, lasagna is like a casserole but it's also delicious. No one ever complains about it being called "pasta."

Erik Fox: Lasagna, casserole, those are all things I do not like. That's why I'm going with a thin crust stance, because I think that with pizza, less is more. I'm not saying deep dish is bad. But you bring up being from Chicago, and Pizza King, where I grew up, especially the Pizza King in Muncie, is legendary, and makes, I think, the best pizza in the world.

Ruby: There is nothing wrong with thin crust, to be fair. I do enjoy a standard, regular sliz-o-piz anytime. This is where I find the question inherently flawed: because "deep dish versus thin crust" is like saying to us, "Do you like ales or lagers?" That's too vague! A porter and an IPA are both ales, but I would argue that a cream ale and a pilsner have far more in common, but they're different. So you talk about deep dish versus thin crust and it's like, Okay, are you talking deep dish versus real Italian-style? If it's a big, floppy—I think New York style is the biggest bullshit. If you have to alter your food [fold it] to make it feel more substantive, go fuck yourself. But that's not to say it's bad. Pizza is always good

Fox: You just told me to go fuck myself for altering my food. Dipping pizza is a huge thing for me. That's why I like a thin crust.

Ruby: I don't have a problem with dipping pizza. I have a problem with folding pizza.

Fox: How thick are we folding here? Are we talking a complete fold or like a soft cusp in the hand?

Ruby: Complete fold.

Fox: I see. One reason I don't like deep dish is having to use— I see it as a challenge, because you have to use a knife and fork. One thing I hate is taking a bite, with the thin crust, and having it fall apart. It seems so wrong to overload something so pure and honest.

Ruby: All pizza is honest. It's like, God loves all his children, you know?

Fox: Yeah.

5 ideal pizza drinking beers

BA Natural Liberty

Subtle hop character complements nicely without being overpowering. This beer does a great job of pairing with any pizza sauce and style. It's always my go-to at home when I have pizza.

BA TV Wolf

More aggressive on the hops than Natural Liberty, this can bring out some of the spiciness of a pizza if you like but also can cut through the richness of cheese. IPAs/pales are generally my favorite beer to have with pizza, especially a deep dish.

Miller High Life

Preferably with Jack's, because college.

Anchor Steam

An alternative to TV Wolf, the mild malt character of this beer can sooth a pizza that's got a lot of spice but is still dry enough where it cleans the palate and cuts the acidity of the sauce. The dryness also helps cut through the cheese.

Ommegang Hennepin

A more delicate beer than the others, it's ideal for a super hot day and a pizza with minimal toppings (ie, a margherita), allowing the pizza to shine but never losing the beer in the mix.


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