Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Getting Our Sugar on With Beer and Donuts

The holiday season is upon us and with that come indulgences in many areas. Have visiting friends or family in town and want a quick breakfast? Donuts are always a hit.

But donuts aren't just relegated to morning hours, they are quite honestly good any time of day. Some donut shops/bakeries shut down in the early afternoon or when they run out but those folks that have pink boxes and most grocery/convenience stores will have some form of donut at any hour of the day to sugar you up.

We recently returned to our pairing shenanigans at The BeerMongers, with Milners bringing a selection of Hostess and Franz products, which fall into the latter category, and Kris bringing a selection of donuts from family-owned SE shop, Delicious Doughnuts. Once the donut haul was laid out we dug into some serious research.

We've done plenty of sugar-based beer pairings in the past (cookies and a variety of candy) and one thing that tends to ring true is that a dark, heavy beer like North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin is generally a slam dunk with a good number of the sugary treats. Not so this time. At best it was "ok" with Hostess Donettes crunch mini donuts. For the most part it clashed with the donuts or overpowered them. The Franz birthday cake old fashioned donuts and Delicious Doughnuts Bad Grandpa (apple fritter with chocolate, bacon and peanut butter) were the exception in that they were able to hold their own.

One of the beers on tap that day was Urban Roots Ales for ALS Rye IPA. This beer was a nice pairing with Franz birthday cake, with the cake mellowing the hop bite of the beer and the beer mellowing the sugar rush of the donut.

Also on tap was Reverend Nat's Valley of the Pear spiced cider, a cider that Kris would have liked to have had a bit more spice profile but the subtleness of it may have been the key to its donut pairings. The best of the donuts with it was Hostess Donettes Strawberry Cheesecake and while sweet, it was enjoyable. It also worked well with Delicious Donuts Vietnamese Coffee raised donut and it provided a nice contrast to the double chocolate Hostess Donettes.

Chris grabbed two Crooked Stave Petite sours - raspberry and blueberry. The raspberry went best with Hostess strawberry cheesecake Donettes and Hostess glazed Donettes with the blueberry finding a serviceable pairing with Delicious Doughnuts maple old fashioned and Bad Grandpa.

The most surprising beer of the day was Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier Lentbeer, a beer Kris noted had "a lotta smoke." With Hostess crunch Donettes the smoke of the beer and the subtle coconut of the donut balanced each other well. Hostess glazed Donettes were an "interesting" pairing that worked fine as well.

Finally, since it was that time of year, the Wayfinder Beer Corpo Seco Pumpkin Ale worked with Hostess crunch Donettes and provided a depth to Hostess double chocolate Donettes. This collaboration between Wayfinder, Cloudburst (Seattle) and Magnolia (San Francisco) was less "spiced" than many beers of this genre, with Chris commenting that it has a bit of a "pumpkin pie crust thing going on."

While we aren't suggesting you bust out the beers when you serve up donuts to friends/family in the morning, as long as you are willing to incur a possible sugar hangover it's an interesting exercise. Besides, one can always tap out and continue down the solo beer or donut path.