On the roof of their taproom on the border of East Williamsburg and Bushwick, the Grimms have opened the doors to its newest venture, a pizzeria. A modern take on New Haven-style pizza, Lala’s Apizza is a bid to add another name to the pantheon of “must eat” pizza places in Brooklyn. Owners Joe and Lauren Carter Grimm are longtime fermentation fanatics who are taking their years of brewing to their deep love of a regional delicacy and are creating some of the most unique pizza in the city.

Grimm, the taproom, started as a nomad brewery, a little over five years before they opened their doors in 2018. Over there, the duo pioneered dry-hopped sour ales and dessert sours that have since become commonplace in the beer world. In 2021, Grimm scored eight different medals and were crowned Brewery of the Year by the New York State Brewers Association. Solidifying them as some of the kings of their craft.

This latest journey began during the pandemic, with the pair telling me that they always wanted to begin selling food alongside their beers and wine, but the forced closure gave them time to create new infrastructure to support a new rooftop to begin slinging their thin-style take on pizza.

Joe Grimm says that his love affair with New Haven-style pizza came from his college days at Yale. A kid from rural Georgia, he says he didn’t experience great pizza until he moved to college in New Haven, where he got a philosophy degree. He was immediately in love. The thin, crispy pies were made with beautifully caramelized crust and came with their own kind of minimal, yet very intentional toppings. It was the pie of his dreams. He tells me he spent countless nights devouring pies and debating whether local mainstays there like Sallys or Pepes did it best. (before landing on the obvious choice, Sally’s) 

While Joe dates his love of pizza dates to his undergrad years, Lauren Grimm tells me she nursed dreams of running a restaurant ever since she was a kid. While most of her friends dreamed of being popstars or rocket scientists, she says she dreamt of running her own restaurant. She says that’s why they named this latest venture Lala’s Pizza, a family nickname for Lauren. During the duo’s early brewing days, they were nomadic brewers, renting space from other, more established breweries. The Grimm’s constant roadtrips to a brewery in Massachusetts meant many pizza stops halfway through their trips, they tell me, including many repeated stops at Grimm’s stomping grounds at Yale.

Their menu reflects the nods to the “apizza” style they are inspired by, but with their own twist, which starts with the addition of malted wheat to their dough, adding a depth of flavor and sweetness that gives these pie their signature char. Their use of a sourdough starter isn’t an uncommon practice in the pizza world, however, they developed their starter from a mixed-culture from their beer which makes it unquestionably unique. There are, of course, your classic red and white pies, but the signature pies are where Lala’s menu shines brightest. Among these, there’s a clam pie that feels like a must for any shellfish eating aficionado. But my go-to has got to be their “cozy pie,which answers an age-old question: would this be better if I put mashed potatoes on it? The answer will always be yes. 

Lala’s Apizza is located inside Grimm Artisanal Ales, at 990 Metropolitan Avenue.

Photos taken by Rachel Vanni.

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