A sold-out crowd of 80-plus people enjoyed the seventh edition of Beer & Donuts at Il Vinaio on Saturday afternoon.
The semi-annual event pairs four housemade gourmet doughnuts with four craft beers at the downtown Mesa restaurant and bar.
Saturday’s most popular course was the finale: a Jack Daniels Pecan Pie doughnut complemented by Parabola, a barrel-aged, bourbon-and-tobacco-flavored Russian imperial stout from California brewery Firestone Walker (pictured on right).
The opener – a muffin-like lemon poppyseed doughnut matched with Mr. Pineapple, a seasonal pineapple-tinged wheat beer from SanTan Brewing in Chandler – also was popular.
The middle pairings were a salty conch fritter with Matilda, a spicy Belgian-style pale ale from Chicago’s Goose Island, and a bacon-and-blue-cheese beignet with Goose Island’s Pepe Nero black pepper saison.
Because of the huge demand for the past few events, Il Vinaio is increasing the capacity of the eighth Beer & Donuts to 100 people. It will be held Saturday, Dec. 15. Reservations already are being taken.