When you think of a beverage to accompany a doughnut, what comes to mind? Coffee certainly. Perhaps milk. But what about beer? The combination of craft beer and sweet doughnuts is a decadent way to explore how beer and food interact. Be it through acidity, alcohol, effervescence or hoppy bitterness, beer slices through oils and fats to refresh the palate in preparation for the next bite. And with local breweries just blocks away from some of L.A.’s best doughnut shops, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge in some experimentation.
The easy entry into the beer-plus-doughnut equation is to go on-the-nose with a coffee beer. Coffee and doughnuts are a comfortable combination, and it’s difficult to go wrong. To venture beyond the beginner’s territory, here are a few suggestions for doughnut and beer pairings.
Three Weavers Brewing and Randy’s Donuts
The starting point for any pairing is to consider the intensity of the food and the beer. Doughnuts are both rich and sweet and not subtle when it comes to flavor. So this isn’t the time for a delicate beer. To stand up to the mouth-coating and sugary confections, you’re going to need a bold beverage. The higher alcohol and more bitter offerings such as the Three Weavers Brewing Knotty double IPA or Midnight Flight imperial stout are better choices than the lighter offerings that could be lost after a bite of doughnut. Three Weavers brewmaster Alexandra Nowell suggests trying Midnight Flight alongside an apple fritter from Randy’s (which happens to be just a couple blocks away from the Inglewood tasting room). It’s a combo that works because the beer’s coffee and chocolate flavors from dark malts build a bridge from beer to doughnut. And the bitterness of the beer sharply contrasts each sugary bite. At nearly 10% alcohol, and considerably bitter, not even a heavy duty apple fritter will overwhelm Midnight Flight. Randy’s Donuts , 805 West Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, (310) 645-4707, randysdonuts.com; Three Weavers Brewery - 1031 W. Manchester Blvd., Suite A, Inglewood, (310) 400-5830, www.threeweavers.la.