Agh, those pies have a thicker crust than the Malnati's style I made for sure, and much more bready looking than I've baked as well. Now that I finally have my sauce nailed down the way I like it (cooked down for an hour from whole canned tomatoes in a butter/oregano/garlic sauce, I'm not an uncooked sauce guy for some reason) I think that I may enjoy a thicker crust since I could dip those buttery edge pieces in the sauce I have leftover in the fridge always!
But if you want a thinner edge you can mash it pretty darn thin, I know I did mine and I never expected to get any puff despite what people told me, but sure enough the edge puffed right out and made the perfect thickness. If you like a crunchy crust you may wanna look into using some semolina in your flour mixture, it made the ones I baked absolutely divine. The maple syrup idea is a very good one too, I may have to try that in my next pie. I've been using Grandma's brand molasses in my Mellow Mushroom clones and that lends a great flavor to a crust as well. I wonder if the sugars present in maple syrup lend the same leavening boost as say regular sugar does or even the simple sugars present in honey. I may research that soon.
Glad to see that your excited about baking pies though, I got started exactly like you and the past month I have been absolutely enthralled with pizza-dom. It has become a new life-long thing I'm afraid.... Which sure is a good think to get involved with! -Cory
P.S. - People have been baking with several different kinds of beers in crusts, but it does make a difference the style and hop content you use from what I can tell. Here is the thread that I skimmed over one day - http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17415.0.html
Let me know if you try some beers, I think I want to give this a go soon as well.