National Pie Day & Craft Beer

By Andrew Kaczmarek

Pies and craft beer, many may ask what’s the correlation? Not only do the two share a similar place among our national past times, they were both heavily influenced by none other than Charlie Papazian.

National Pie Day was founded by Papazian in 1975, in a simple declaration to his kindergarten, first and second grade students that January 23, Charlie’s birthday, would be National Pie Day. After a quick formality National Pie Day was official, and pies became even more popular, particularly on Charlie’s desk.

As a pie romantic, Papazian researched and tested pie styles, at the same time and in the same manor as beer styles. Common flavors like chocolate, fruit, nuts and cream have been enjoyed alongside experiments as bold as minced Habanero. Craft beer, or pie? You be the judge.

Perfect Pairing: Baking with Craft Beer: Holiday Pies 

National Pie Day

The history of National Pie Day spurred the creation of the American Pie Council; an industry trade group that established Charlie’s dream of a pie bakeoff at the Great American Pie Festival. In the name of tradition, try a stout and pie tonight, and between beer batches, give pie baking a shot. In the words of Charlie, “The difficulty of pie baking is over rated ‘What’s the secret to the best pie in the world?’ Relax, don’t worry and have a homebrew!”

The Great American Beer Festival (October 10-12) or The Great American Pie Festival (April 27-28)? Both pay homage to the timeless craft of balancing spices, sugars, fruits and the like, to create a balanced delicacy.

Papazian’s Recommended Beer and Pie Pairings

  • Double style Belgian brown | blueberry pie
  • Imperial stout | chocolate pie
  • Barley wine | apple-pear pie
  • Belgian wit | apricot pie

In pie we trust.


Andrew KaczmarekAndrew Kaczmarek, is the current Craft Beer Program Intern, hop farmer, beer writer for the CU Independent, homebrewer and student at the University of Colorado in his final semester. When not pursuing hoppiness, as a Colorado native, he spends his free time skiing, camping or biking in the Rocky Mountains.