Seeing the number of craft beer collaborations is always a lot of fun. What’s even better is when the collaboration brings in a non-beer partner. For example, when a brewery collaborates with a bakery to make beer brewed with donuts.
There’s something intriguing about taking a sweet pastry and finding a way to incorporate its flavors into a beer.
Let’s take a look at what it means enjoy a beer brewed with donuts.
The Process Of Making Beer Brewed With Donuts
But you can add them at two different spots in the process according to what I’ve learned.
The first option is to add them to the mash.
As the donuts breakdown and combines with the malt, the sugar and other flavors are added. Hopefully, it’s enough to have an impact on the final flavor of the beer.
Another option is to add donuts to a finished beer.
Allowing the finished beer to take in the flavors of the beer at this stage can often have a huge impact on the flavor.
Mini-glazed cake donuts and cold brew coffee were added to an imperial stout making a beer that tasted just like a donut dipped in coffee.
In my experience, adding the donut after brewing adds the most donut flavor.
And I think I it’s worth noting that some beers are simply “donut inspired” – meaning ingredients were added in an attempt to make it taste like a certain donut but no actual donuts were used during brewing.
Donut beers are typically dark beers (porters, stouts, etc) but other styles can get involved as well. Check out my list below to see that even Sour Beer and German Alt Beer can be used to make great donut beers.
Since I’m not a brewer, let me know if you’ve heard/seen of other ways to make a beer brewed with donuts.
Cincinnati’s Holtman’s Donuts
Not only do we have a ton of great breweries in my hometown but there’s also some amazing bakeries making tasty donuts.
The bakery that is most involved with craft beer in Cincinnati is Holtman’s Donuts. They’ve been working hard to bridge the worlds of beer and donuts.
Check out this impressive list of what they’ve been able to create:
- Christian Morelein’s Red Velvet Cream Stout
- Braxton Brewery’s “Toaster,” a German Alt Beer infused with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Donuts
- Ei8ght Ball Brewery’s “Kitten Claw,” a Brown Ale with Chocolate Maple and Powdered Sugar Donuts
- Fibonacci Brewery’s “Pepo Acer,” a Pumpkin Porter infused with Maple Bacon Donuts
- Listerman Brewery’s “Lateral Gone Nuts,” an Oatmeal Sweet Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels for 9 months with Holtman’s Chocolate and Toasted Coconut Donuts
- Urban Artifact’s “Operation PlowShare,” a Black Raspberry Jelly Donut Sour Beer.
- March 1st Brewing’s Apple Fritter Cider
- Streetside Brewery’s “ROBE,” a Red Velvet Cream Cheese Stout
- 50 West’s “Patrol Car,” an Imperial Donut Porter
The first six beers on the list were featured as part of a Yelp! event in 2017.
The event featured the beers brewed with donuts as well as the actual donuts that inspired each of them.
They even served a cheeseburger with a donut for the bun.
I was able to attend the event and am hoping that it returns in the future. It’s was a night full of decadent desserts and beers.
Here’s what Holtman’s had to say about their beer collaborations:
“In a city that’s known for craft beer, it’s a fun and creative way to be part of our rich Cincinnati brewing history to partner with local brewers by doing nothing else than throwing our donuts in the mix!” Katie Plazarin – Holtman’s Donuts
Based on this quote; they see these partnerships as the perfect way to help add to what craft beer has become in Cincinnati.
Why Donut Beers Exist
Craft beer is about more than beer. Here’s what Holtman’s has to say about it:
“Holtman’s values partnering with breweries because it’s important for us to be creative and step out of our typical realm while staying in touch with other local small businesses to maintain a unique customer experience.” Maggie Rochon – Events & Community Manager
To Holtman’s Donuts, it’s about partnering with other small businesses to create a unique experience. And that means doing something new and challenging.
In the end, it’s about bringing people together in new ways. In other words, it’s about community.
Beer continually proves that it has the power to move people and adding in some of the city’s best donuts doesn’t hurt either.
Donut beers exist as a means of attracting more people to craft beer and giving the existing fans something new to try.
Learn More: What Is A Fruit Beer?
Craft beer made with donuts are often made in small batches so you won’t always be able to find them at the local bottle shop.
While others, like the Rogue Voodoo, are donuts inspired and more accessible.
If you hear of a collaboration between a brewery and bakery, I highly recommend you make it a point to get the taproom and give it a shot.