Written by: Nancy Vienneau

When it comes to pairing food and beer, a hot dog and cold beer is a no-brainer. How about beer and a donut? How would that stack up? Well, if it’s one of the 20-hour brioche-based donuts fashioned at The Donut+Dog in Nashville’s Hillsboro Village, paired with one of their craft drafts, it stacks up to one crazy-good match.

Will and Nicole Primavera, owners-operators of the popular neighborhood eatery, developed their brioche, a yeasted butter and egg enriched dough with a slow rise, to be simultaneously flavor-dense yet light. The dough is not the only ideal foundation for an array of glazes, spices, purees, dustings, sugars, and salt in marvelous combinations, it’s a surprising springboard for beer pairings.

“My background is in spirits,” says Will. “In my training, whether it’s sake, wine, beer, you learn the caveat. Whatever you are pairing, one should not just be complementary to the other, one must cut through the other.”

Due to the nature of hops, beer can impart deep heady tastes. The brioche donuts, which have a balance of sweet and salt, richness and lightness, can stand up to a brew, and cut through it, with neither overwhelming the other. In fact, the inherent yeasty goodness of the pastry is in harmony.

“If you were to pair a regular cake donut with a beer, you’re not going to be happy, “ says Will, shaking his head. “Our tag line is Sweet. Savory. Local. That yin-yang balance is what we, as local entrepreneurs, strive to deliver.”

Will is so keen on the duo, he’s put together pairing suggestions for restaurant patrons, along with quite the celebratory beer and donut flight that moves from lager to pale ale to IPA to porter. A native of San Diego, he’s partial to Ballast Point; three of his four offerings on tap are from the much-loved brewery.

Indulge in the Sin-U-Rita donut with Modelo Especial, the crisp honeyed lager and the donut’s tropical tang go hand-in-hand. With its malted sweetness and summer melon tastes, Ballast Point’s Grunion pale ale is a perfect foil for the Dirty O.G., which has a luscious brown butter glaze flecked with cinnamon and Himalayan pink salt. Stairway 2 Heaven, a D+D mainstay, goes well with Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA: The brown butter-cinnamon sugar and raspberry is countered by the IPA’s citric-stonefruit tastes, with a sting. Finally, the robust notes of coffee, caramel and vanilla present in both the imperial porter Victory at Sea, and the Dirty Churro make an unbeatable pair.

It could go without saying, but the D+D roster of dogs, each nuzzled in a buttered and griddled brioche bun (of course!) elevates the experience, no matter which brew you choose.

To visit/contact THE DONUT+DOG: 2127 Belcourt Avenue, Nashville TN 37212   615-457-1476  https://thedonutanddog.com