The Newcastle Live team put their tastebuds to the test on the weekend at the sold-out Murray’s Brewery & Doughheads collaborative ‘Dark Beer and Doughnuts‘ event at The Hop Factory. It was definitely a degustation of a different kind, but a delicious one at that! Here are a few things we learnt along the way…
1. Sometimes the most unlikely of partnerships are the tastiest
We’ll admit, we were a little unsure of the beer and doughnut pairing at first… A very intriguing combination, to say the least. Yet, after the first mouthwatering bite of the Double Trouble chocolate mousse-filled doughnut, followed by a sip of the perfectly matched Dubbel Trubbel beer, came the lightbulb moment. The clouds of uncertainty parted, and the glorious shining spark of brilliance emerged. Much like coffee and cake, the heavy bitterness of the beer cut through the sweetness of the doughnut, each balancing out the other on the palate.
2. Toast on a doughnut is an epic taste explosion
Bow down and bask in the glory of this doughnut. Though humble on first appearance, let us start by saying this was not your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill toast crumbs strewn on top of a doughnut iced with caramel. Oh no. This was a culinary masterpiece. This was the pièce de résistance of the entire afternoon (in our eyes, anyway). What you’re looking at here is one of Doughheads’ famous fluffy made-from-scratch doughnuts, graciously topped with oozing burnt caramel icing, and skillfully sprinkled with spiced butter toast and toffee praline… We’re gonna go ahead and give you a moment to collect yourself/wipe the drool from your chin.
3. The power of Murray’s dark beer can be deceiving
One word that comes to mind is ‘woah’. Some of Murray’s darker brews pack one hell of a powerful punch! The small sampling glasses served up more than enough of a taster, especially when each beer was around the 10% alcohol mark. The Chocolate Wild Thing, with it’s full bodied backend and coco laced after taste was the real stand out for us along with the Belgium inspired Dark that accompanied the first doughnut.
4. Fat Elvis is alive and kickin’
If you ever attended a Newcastle Falcons basketball game in the early 1990’s, there’s no doubt you will have fond memories of Fat Elvis sauntering about, leading the ‘defence’ cheer, holding up a white plastic ‘D’ in one hand and a ‘fence’ in the other. Ever wondered, where is he now? Well, his name is Chris Kelly and he’s still out performing his array of characters – One of which is ‘Willy Doodrop’, who put on quite a show during the degustation.
5. Dark beer and doughnuts are not dominated by dudes
Gone are the days when beer was the man’s drink. With the rise in the popularity of craft beer, the female beer drinker is a much more common sight than 10 years ago. This event was no exception and there was a solid presence of ladies in the house. Although, some may have just been there for the doughnuts, like one certain female from our cohort in particular…
Overall, the event was a roaring success. The packed out Hop Factory was filled with lively chatter, chinking of glasses, and resounding “mmm’s” and “yum’s” all afternoon. Murray’s beers are a consistent winner when it comes to local brews, and we can’t wait to see what delectable doughnut creations Doughheads will discover next!