This special feature comes to us courtesy of Breaking Brews Contributor Ashley Pike. Ashley will be diving headfirst into the Pittsburgh craft beer scene and bringing you the skinny on what’s happening in your neighborhood. You can follow Ashley on Twitter at @EkipEkip
Donuts and Beer Unite!
I had the opportunity to attend a donut and beer release at Hitchhiker Brewing over Memorial Day weekend, the perfect way to round out a holiday that is typically punctuated by beer and hamburgers. The two new available brews are The Shakes coffee porter, and Trillions of Friends, a sour red ale. The chance to try these two beers along with two excellent donuts came from Just Good Donuts, a new project by the owners of Piper’s Pub and The Pub Chip Shop in the South Side.
The recommendation we received was to try the maple vindaloo bacon donut with the coffee porter and the fruity pebbles donut with the sour red. This particular batch of The Shakes is the second batch ever brewed. I did not have the pleasure of imbibing from the first batch, but this brewing showed a bright and bold brew, with a lighter color I’m personally used to seeing in coffee porters. Fans of cold-brewed coffee will find it very drinkable, along with it being bold and nutty enough to stand well on its own. It was actually so drinkable, we ended up taking a growler of it home.
Trillions of Friends, the sour red, is a very fruity, semi-puckery sour. It’s definitely not the most sour beer I’ve ever had, but I’m fine with this. Sometimes the tannic hit that a sour leaves in the back of your mouth can wreck your palette after a few sips, but this was very fresh and melony: more of a gentle slap than a full-on punch. This is probably a strong candidate for summertime porch drinking beer.
We broke protocol and had the fruity pebble donut with the coffee porter as well. They paired fantastically, the cold bitterness of the coffee cutting through all that sugar we loved when we were kids. I did not sample the maple vindaloo bacon donut, but it looked amazing.
Pairing donuts and beer is definitely a fun experiment, especially when you bring together two popular small businesses in Pittsburgh. It will be exciting to see if we see even more of these local food and beer collaborations. One can hope!