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Beer and doughnuts…yep, they're that good

UTC’s Draft Republic pours a perfect dessert pairing

Espresso-filled doughnuts and New English's Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout at Draft Republic
Espresso-filled doughnuts and New English's Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout at Draft Republic

The best thing about a restaurant with tons of beer taps is the ability for one to pair their brews directly with the food they order. That’s not to say one has to — many are the nights where I opt to drink what I feel like, pairing be damned — but when the mood, menu, and tap list are right, magic can happen. I was recently on the receiving end of such sudsy sorcery when visiting the newest limb on the Cohn Restaurant Group’s family tree, Draft Republic.

Place

Draft Republic

4282 Esplanade Court, San Diego

Before perusing the food menu, I went straight for the draft list to examine the 36 ales and lagers at this beer-centric eatery, which replaced the CRG’s Strip Club late last year. San Diego County’s first family of restaurant operations has procured a pretty good list.

There is room for improvement, but they offer more than just the ubiquitous standbys — Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Stone Pale Ale, Saint Archer White. Lesser-seen offerings abound, including one of my favorites, Zumbar, a coffee- and chocolate-infused imperial stout from Sorrento Valley’s New English Brewing Company.

I dog-eared that selection for later in the meal, then turned my attention to the edibles. It was there I saw what appeared to be the second half of a slam-dunk beer-and-food pairing — fresh doughnuts filled with espresso buttercream served with a side of espresso chip ice cream. LeBron can’t jam it home with greater force than this beer-and-dessert duo.

The coffee in the beer and the fried goodness sync up perfectly, while Zumbar’s chocolatey essence adds a secondary flavor that helps the already tasty doughnuts soar. It’s not some complicated one-two punch some master cicerone would have to help lesser-experienced pairers discover. It is, however, one so delicious, I feel inclined to point the way to all of my readers.

The beer on its own is already one of the best-flavored imperial stouts in the county and could serve as dessert by itself. But have a sip just before and just after biting into one of those sugar-dusted balls of chewy dough, experience the outflow of warm, oozy, coffee-kissed filling, and you’ll know beer-and-food symbiosis at its best. Despite being stuffed before this last course arrived, I ended up devouring the whole thing. It was that good.

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Espresso-filled doughnuts and New English's Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout at Draft Republic
Espresso-filled doughnuts and New English's Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout at Draft Republic

The best thing about a restaurant with tons of beer taps is the ability for one to pair their brews directly with the food they order. That’s not to say one has to — many are the nights where I opt to drink what I feel like, pairing be damned — but when the mood, menu, and tap list are right, magic can happen. I was recently on the receiving end of such sudsy sorcery when visiting the newest limb on the Cohn Restaurant Group’s family tree, Draft Republic.

Place

Draft Republic

4282 Esplanade Court, San Diego

Before perusing the food menu, I went straight for the draft list to examine the 36 ales and lagers at this beer-centric eatery, which replaced the CRG’s Strip Club late last year. San Diego County’s first family of restaurant operations has procured a pretty good list.

There is room for improvement, but they offer more than just the ubiquitous standbys — Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Stone Pale Ale, Saint Archer White. Lesser-seen offerings abound, including one of my favorites, Zumbar, a coffee- and chocolate-infused imperial stout from Sorrento Valley’s New English Brewing Company.

I dog-eared that selection for later in the meal, then turned my attention to the edibles. It was there I saw what appeared to be the second half of a slam-dunk beer-and-food pairing — fresh doughnuts filled with espresso buttercream served with a side of espresso chip ice cream. LeBron can’t jam it home with greater force than this beer-and-dessert duo.

The coffee in the beer and the fried goodness sync up perfectly, while Zumbar’s chocolatey essence adds a secondary flavor that helps the already tasty doughnuts soar. It’s not some complicated one-two punch some master cicerone would have to help lesser-experienced pairers discover. It is, however, one so delicious, I feel inclined to point the way to all of my readers.

The beer on its own is already one of the best-flavored imperial stouts in the county and could serve as dessert by itself. But have a sip just before and just after biting into one of those sugar-dusted balls of chewy dough, experience the outflow of warm, oozy, coffee-kissed filling, and you’ll know beer-and-food symbiosis at its best. Despite being stuffed before this last course arrived, I ended up devouring the whole thing. It was that good.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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