Episode 3: Pizza Beer (and a surprise bonus booze!)

Product: Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer
Produced by: Tom Seefurth
Alcohol Content: Unknown
Location Purchased: Via Mail Order from Choice Wine & Spirits, DeKalb, IL
Price Paid: Total cost for 2 bottles plus shipping via UPS was $29.38



“It’s the world’s first culinary beer!” the website proclaimed.

“Beer so good it deserves a wine glass!” the label announced.

“It’s like drinking really watery pasta sauce,” raved an A.V. Club review.

We found ourselves powerless to resist the siren call of this wacky little beer.

The pizza beer is an ale infused with tomato, basil, oregano, and garlic. And according to this helpful graphic we found on their website, the beer is 100% chipmunk free!

When we poured our first glass of the pizza beer, and gave it a cautious whiff, our blood ran cold. The scent of tomato gave us flashbacks to the Chelada incident, and we were afraid to continue. But we mustered up enough courage to take our first tentative sips.

It wasn’t bad. In fact, it was actually pretty good. The beer itself was crisp, not overly malted or hoppy, and very refreshing. The beer had a long slow finish, and one by one each ingredient made its presence known. The tomato taste came first, then the oregano, the garlic, and the basil. We can’t imagine when we’d purchase a large quantity of it, except as a novelty, but it was not the pizza-flavored hell we were dreading.

But good booze, tasty though it may be, isn’t exactly a comedy gold mine. You, dear reader, haven’t come here looking for good booze. You want the nasty stuff. You want to watch us suffer. You thrive on schadenfreude. And we are happy to oblige.


Product: New Amsterdam Gin
Produced by: New Amsterdam Spirits Co., Modesto, CA
Alcohol Content: 40% ABV (80 proof)
Location Purchased: NH Liquor Store
Price Paid: I forget. I remember it was on sale. Probably somewhere in the ballpark of 17 bucks for a 1.5 liter bottle.


Do not be taken in by the slick advertising. The gin inside this sexy-looking bottle is some of the worst we’ve ever tasted. Now, granted, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition awarded New Amsterdam Gin the gold medal in 2007 and again in 2008. But that doesn’t mean anything, not in a world where lowbrow beers like Schlitz can claim gold medal status as well.

This particular bottle had been lurking in our cupboards for months, because the taste was so unbelievably foul. Imagine drinking a glass of Lysol, and you will begin to imagine the gut-wrenching terror that is New Amsterdam.

Good gin is a thing of beauty. It should be aromatic, refreshing, complex. New Amsterdam is not good gin. Rather than an appealing aroma, it smells of rubbing alcohol and Lemon Pledge, with a hint of orange air freshener.

And the taste…God, the taste is truly awful. At first, it’s relatively clean on the palate. But then you make the mistake of swallowing, and New Amsterdam reveals its true character. New Amsterdam gin hates you, and it wants you to die.

Once you swallow it, the burn begins. Not the slow pleasant burn of a good whisky, but rather a sensation that is not unlike the raw burning esophageal pain that comes after a night of heavy vomiting. For a brand that bills itself as “Diamond Smooth”, this feels like razor blades in your gut. You get an instant headache, your stomach clenches, and you beg for death.

For the love of God, avoid New Amsterdam at all costs. Drink Hendricks, drink Magellan. They are delicious.

New Amsterdam, we hate you.

5 responses to “Episode 3: Pizza Beer (and a surprise bonus booze!)

  1. Hey, I am with you on the pizza beer. I have found it so good to drink and wonderful to cook with. They have a pizza crust mix to die for.

  2. Okay, I stand corrected. I had never tried NA straight only in G&T but after your scathing review I did. And…I have to agree. Straight it’s pretty damn bad. In a G&T I like the grapefruit overtones it adds. Straight I’m sticking with Hendrick’s but about every 10th bottle of gin I buy (that’s about every 2 weeks) I get NA got summertime G&Ts. Love it, leave it, whatever …but drink gin. It was, after all, invented by a doctor to cure liver disease. Ah, the Dutch.

  3. I tried the NA at my local liquor store, which hosted a taste test. Sorry, guys, but you’re overselling it. Not to say that it’s good; it’s outclassed by Hendricks — hell, it’s outclassed by Gordon’s — but compared to Bowman’s or any number of bottom-shelf gins, it’s a walk in the park!

  4. Haven’t tried the pizza beer, but I have to agree with you about the NA. It smells like rubbing alcohol and turpentine, and it goes down like a scorched-earth bombing campaign. It doesn’t get me drunk either, which is a little weird.

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