Lala's Brooklyn Apizza / Instagram

Craft-Brewing Couple Brings New Haven-Style Apizza to Brooklyn

Lauren and Joe Grimm have parlayed their knowledge of malt grains into a new restaurant using a sourdough starter originating from their sour beer.

A New Haven-style pizzeria, minus the coal-burning oven, has opened in Brooklyn, courtesy of Lauren and Joe Grimm, the owners of Grimm Artisanal Ales.

The pies at Lala’s Brooklyn Apizza boast what the Grimms describe as “an impossibly thin crust” made from house-milled malted wheat, fermented with a housemade sourdough culture and baked in an Italian wood-fired oven.

Perched on the rooftop at 990 Metropolitan Avenue in East Williamsburg, above Grimm Artisan Ales and its sister winery, Physica Wines, Lala’s draws inspiration from legendary pizza shops like Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza.

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In an Instagram post, the Grimms said Lala’s is “the culmination of three years of experimentation with home pizza-making, and we’ve hit our ideal pizza SPOT ON.”

Earlier in their lives, Lauren and Joe frequented New Haven shops like Frank Pepe’s, Sally’s and Bar while honing their microbrewing craft. Both “avid fermentationists,” they met in 2005 and later founded Grimm Artisan Ales.

Lauren’s signature sourdough culture originated from the couple’s sour beer, and the super-thin crust is achieved using a rolling pin.

This photo shows Lauren Grimm at a table festooned with various pizzas, while two little girls hang onto her. Everyone is smiling and laughing.
Lala’s Brooklyn Apizza – Instagram

The Grimms have been milling fresh malt for their doughs on a countertop flour mill in their kitchen. “As brewers, we have access to all of the varieties of malt grain used in beer, and Lala’s will take cues from [our] brewing background,” they noted on Instagram. “We’re even planning a dark dough that includes midnight wheat, a malt typically used for brewing stouts.”

Lala’s opened on Friday, July 21, with a limited summertime menu featuring pies like the Hot Pepperoni (pepperoni, tomato sauce, serrano chili peppers and honey) and the Squash (summer squash medallions, squash blossoms, ricotta, cracked black pepper and an egg yolk drizzle). Another pie, called the Cozy, is topped with mashed potatoes, fermented tomatoes and bacon.

True to its New Haven roots, Lala’s will also offer an apizza boasting local Little Neck clams, aged mozzarella, garlic and a Physica Riesling butter sauce derived from one of the Grimms’ own wines.