Beer and pizza go together like hot dogs and mustard, like French fries and ketchup, like Willie Nelson and weed. It's a bit surprising this didn't happen sooner. Do you know what the fastest-growing ingredient in pizza has been this year? No, not any kind of exotic meat or trendy vegetable. It's actually beer! According to Nation's Restaurant News, many restaurants are adding beer to their pizza recipes. That includes beer in the crust, beer cheese on the pie, and proteins such as sausage or chicken cooked in beer as a pizza topping. Menu research firm Technomic says beer is the fastest-growing ingredient in pizza, up by 92.3% compared to last year. Not only does the beer add flavor to the pizza, it also makes the crust crispier. Restaurants that have hopped on the beer-in-pizza trend are saying it makes their pizza unique and difficult to copy. One such establishment is Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, which has 22 locations including two in South Carolina (Greenville, Columbia). The East Coast chain puts their own house-brewed Vienna Red Lager in the barbecue sauce that goes on top of their Voodoo Chicken Pizza. Other pizza-making businesses are doing similar things with beer and pizza. The trend really seems to have taken off in the Midwest. Short's Brewing Company in Michigan and Street-za in Milwaukee put beer in their respective pizza crusts. Chicago's famous Home Run Inn created a Beer Pizza last summer. By infusing the sauce with beer, they've created a pie that offers two flavors in every bite. I bet it's a hit at their two concession stands inside Wrigley Field. There's less to carry back to your seat!