Pizza Quest Globe

Peter’s Blog, June 26th

How often do you get to make dough, pizza sauce and pizzas in a brewery?

Yes, I’m late with this posting. I promised it by Thursday but, as so often happens, time got away from me and I couldn’t get online from where I was. But here I am, to tell you only a bit about our latest quest. It may take a while before we get it all edited and posted, so this is just a little advanced notice to let you know what’s coming. It all began a few months ago when Kelly Whitaker, of Pizzeria Basta, told us about a great micro-brewery whose beers they feature at Basta called The Bruery, in Orange County, Southern California. Turns out that our Pizza Quest producer and columnist, Brad English, lives not too far from there and, so, he checked it out and became friends with the creative beverage team there. One thing led to another and, before we knew it, we all found ourselves back at Pizzeria Basta, this time with The Bruery owner, Patrick Rue, who was there for a special beer and food pairing. I’ll go into more detail on this part of the adventure when we post the webisodes, but the bottom line is that we filmed the food and, also, some great table talk in which, after Kelly, his beverage director Al, and Patrick explained to us their creative process of matching food with beer, we decided to challenge Patrick to match beer with pizza. That is, Kelly and I proposed that, instead of the usual approach of having a chef match the food to the beer, that instead, we create a unique, signature pizza, present it to the Bruery’s brewers, and have them create a beer inspired by the pizza. Patrick accepted the challenge.

This was all back in early May.  So, to make a long story short, I just returned from The Bruery where, yes, we did in fact throw down the gauntlet and got some great footage of a pizza collaboration in which I created the dough, Kelly and Al came up with the toppings, and we baked the pizzas in Tim Gonzalez’s mobile wood-fired pizza oven — Tim has one of Joseph Pergolizzi’s beautiful “Fire Within” oven rigs and operates TJ’s Wood-Fire Pizza out of it in the Orange County area–and then presented the pizzas to Patrick and his Bruery team. They are now hard at work creating a brand new, totally original beer inspired by the pizza (we actually presented them with two choices, both a red and a white pizza, and let them choose which one would be the “Signature Challenge Pizza” — you’ll find out which one they chose when we run the webisodes).

There’s a whole lot more to this story, all of which will be revealed over the next few months but, and here’s the most exciting part, our plan is for The Bruery to unveil this new beer at The Great American Beer Festival in Denver at the end of September, and have Kelly and I make the pizzas in one of Joseph Pergolizzi’s ovens so that those in attendance can taste the beer and the pizza together. We’re still working on that part — lot’s of logistics to work out, so there’s no guarantee we can pull it all off — but we’ll be giving you updates over the next few months. I will say this though: the pizzas were awesome, we tasted fourteen of The Bruery’s amazing beers, we filmed some fun and exciting new cooking Instructionals using Tim’s oven, including an amazing 4-Minute Pan-Seared Rib Eye Steak, as well as a 4-Minute “Dirty Steak” cooked right in the coals, and even filmed two dough making Instructionals, including the new “Signature Challenge Pizza” dough. All of this will be coming your way sometime before the GABF (Great American Beer Festival).

Of course, we have a lot of other webisodes to show you first, between now and then, including footage we shot in San Francisco at world champion pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani’s new pizzeria in North Beach, and our trip with him to tomato country during harvest season, and lots more. And, of course, we still have more to share from The Cass House Inn over the next few weeks. So, as you know, we aren’t kidding when we say, as we often do in the Coming Attractions section, that there’s always something new here at Pizza Quest. We are so excited about the next few months that we hope you will help spread the word and tell your friends to join us here. We will soon be proudly announcing some wonderful new sponsors and sharing news of their artisanal ingredients, and plenty of new guest columns, recipes, pictorials, and, of course, videos.

We just passed an important milestone, our six month anniversary, and have reached many thousands of viewers. There may even be some television news in our future — you’ll know as soon as we know, but some things are brewing, er, baking — so stay tuned. Yes, there’s always something new here at Pizza Quest….



Hi Peter and staff,
Can’t wait for the dough making videos!…and the 4 min. pan seared steak sounds awesome!! I’ve got my homemade backyard oven ‘at the ready!’
I find the instructional videos so much more informative than a written recipe.
I love this web site!
(you can check out my oven pics at ‘’)
Thanks Again for all you folks do,
Rick M (Oventhusiast)


Thanks Rick! Can’t say when we’ll get those videos up and running but, hopefully, sometime this summer. So glad you like the site. Feel free to help us spread the word, and thanks for all your support and enthusiasm!

Aaron H

Peter, looking forward to all future posts… but an “artisan” version of the standard college diet has me very excited. Thank you and your crew for all the hard work… it’s greatly appreciated.

Rick… Just so you know… you’re backyard kitchen looks fantastic!!… great work.

Just wanted to share our results of the the 4m steak we tried last week for Fathers Day/Anniversary. I managed to capture most of the cooking of one on video (before my phone overheated from holding it too close to the oven… oops). We did some things we would do differently, but overall it was killer. We can’t wait to do it again.



Wow! What a treat at Pizzeria Basta!

I almost made last weekend’s “Fire Within” workshop in Boulder, but I couldn’t get my last minute plans in place. Perhaps next time.

I can’t wait for the videos! I totally agree with Rich M. I have been trying to work on a 100% SD pizza recipe using a combination of your recipes / techniques but had been having some trouble with the dough cooking through and rising before the pizza burned. Just watching you work with the Cass House Inn last week taught me a little more about how you really need to wait for the dough to “gas up” and be careful not to press out too much gas during shaping. The results were my best yet! Fully cooked through with a nice airy cornichon and delicious taste from the wild yeast.




I am a bred lover. I got you book The Bread Bakers’ Apprentice. I have been digging deep on it and even took a Italian Bread class. I have two question and I would like to know if is there a way to get this bread question to you. Sorry but I didn’t find a contact or comment tool on your blog.


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Vision Statement

Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

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