Beer & Food Pairings

9 Delicious Beer and Donut Pairings You Need to Try

Donuts and beer are an oddly perfect pairing.

9 Delicious Beer and Donut Pairings You Need to Try

What do you and Homer Simpson have in common? You both love donuts and you both love beer, and perhaps you’re both rockin’ the dad bod. To keep those 3 2* similarities going strong, you should probably stock up on your donuts and beer.

You’re probably thinking we’re crazy for this, but donuts and beer make the best pairings. And they’re even more perfect for celebrating National Donut Day.


National Doughnut Day – Why do we celebrate Donut Day?

Celebrated on the first Friday of June, this national “holiday” actually started way back in 1938 in Chicago. The day started as a fundraiser by The Salvation Army in honour of the work of the “doughnut girls”, who fed donuts to American soldiers during World War I.

If you happen to be reading this on the first Friday of June (a.k.a. National Donut Day) or November 5th (which apparently is also National Doughnut Day), grab some friends and find a donut shop near you giving away free or discounted donuts and pair them up with your favourite craft beers from local breweries. And if you’re not reading this on one of the two National Donut Days… well, jokes on you because every day is National Doughnut Day. Go get your Homer Simpson on.


The Best Beer & Donut Pairings


Pair an Apple Fritter with a…


Are apple fritters considered donuts? We think so! Is a cider considered a beer? Well… no, but we’re including it anyway! A hard apple cider can be a great counterpart to the sweetness of the apples and glaze on a fritter. This pairing is rich, fruity, sweet but also light and refreshing.


Must-Try Ciders:
Rock Creek Dry CiderBig Rock Brewery
Turning Point Apple CiderTurning Point Brewery


Pair a Boston Cream Donut with a…

Pale Ale or Stout!

This light, sweet dough is filled with vanilla custard then covered with a thick layer of dark chocolate frosting and honestly, we can’t think of a better treat. The citrus notes that come through in a pale ale will compliment the tangy custard. Hops will pair well with the bittersweetness of the dark chocolate. This pairing is sweet but not too heavy. If you’re looking for a pairing that is a little richer — try a bold stout with your Boston Cream.



Boston Cream Beer Pairings To Try:
Lazy Mutt Chocolate StoutMinhas Micro Brewery
WindstormStanley Park Brewing


Pair an Eclair (a.k.a. Long John) with a…


The roasted malt flavour in porters complements so nicely with anything chocolate. Some might think that a porter would overpower the richness of an Eclair, but have no fear! Porters will complement and intensify the flavour of your Long John donut.


Porters You Should Try:
Choqlette PorterBomber Brewing
There Will Be PorterLast Best Brewing


Pair a Honey Cruller Doughnut with a…

Fruit Lambic!

Honey Crullers are known to be “the fanciest donut of all”. This fancy treat needs a fancy friend to pair with it. Pair this ooey-gooey dessert with a beer just as sweet! Lambics often have strong acidic aromas that accentuate the sugary, light, airy flavours in a Honey Cruller.


Our Go-To Lambics:
Kriek Cherry LambicLindemans
MJ’s FramboiseCarter’s Brewing


Pair a Jelly Filled Donut with a…


Berry flavours and stouts go great together. The taste of dark berries lasts long on the palette so it is important to pair those flavours with a beer that does the same, like a stout. With subtle hints of chocolate, a stout will only add to a jelly donut’s greatness.


Stouts We Love:
Salted Belgium Chocolate StoutNew Belgium Brewing Company
Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter StoutDead Frog Brewery


Pair a Plain Old Fashioned Doughnut with a…

Cream Ale!

Something as like as a Plain Old Fashioned Doughnut needs a partner that isn’t going to overpower it’s light and airy texture. Match your plain donut up with a cream ale to keep your palette refreshed while you enjoy your snack.


Cream Ales To Try:
Ulu PiaBig Island Brewhaus
Nitro Orange Cream AleBreckenridge Brewery


Pair a Powdered Sugar Donut with a…

Pale Lager!

Powdered donuts are light and airy! A beer that’s this tasty pairs great with something that will cleanse the palate and refresh it in preparation for the next powdery bite! Crack open a pale lager the next time you’re ready to get your fingers messy.


Pale Lager Donut Pairings:
Likabull LagerArrowhead Brewing Company
Gold Country PilsnerAuburn Alehouse


Pair a Sprinkled Donut with a…

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

A donut this fancy needs a fancy to be paired with it. A complex, barrel-aged Belgian strong dark ale complements a whimsical, sugary dessert, like a sprinkled donut, perfectly. It’s a match made in sprinkle heaven!


Sprinkled Donut & Beer Pairings To Try:
Barrel-Aged Grand CruAleSmith Brewing Co.
Rum Barrel SourMoa Brewing Company


Pair a Vanilla or Chocolate Glazed Doughnut with an…

India Pale Ale!

A hoppy India pale ale is an excellent choice when looking for a beer to cut through the richness of a vanilla or chocolate glazed donut. Tropical fruits and citrus notes will take your glazed donut to the next level.


Must-Try IPAs:
Citradelic Single Hop Citra IPABig Rock Brewery
The Real Peel Grapefruit IPAFernie Brewing Company


Donut vs. Doughnut?

Honestly, we’re not really sure either. The Official Dictionary spelling is “doughnut”. However, the Americanized and shortened version, “donut”, has been around since the late 1800s. Here at JustBeer we’re not the grammar police, so much as we are socially-savvy, search-engine friendly, beer geeks who love all donuts/doughnuts!


Interested in pairing your beer with more great treats, snacks, and meals? Check out these links:

Tips for Pairing Beer & Chocolate
Beer & French Fry Pairings
Meat on the BBQ & Beer Pairings
Beer “Holidays” To Celebrate in 2019

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