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Doughnuts and beer? It's a good week

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It's a safe bet that Homer's words will fill the air at the Durham County South Regional Library on Thursday night. No, not the Greek poet. We're talking the eternal words of Homer Simpson: "Mmmmmm ... doughnuts."

Such literary quotations will be inspired by Julie Thomson, who blogs about doughnuts at "Keep Your Eye Upon the Doughnut" and tweets about them under the handle @donutgrrl. Thomson will explore North Carolina's role in doughnut history with the program "From Glazed to Gourmet: Donut Shops in NC." Krispy Kreme will be discussed, of course, as will the growth of gourmet doughnut shops such as Monuts and Rise.

Furthering the audience's enlightenment will be doughnut samples.

"From Glazed to Gourmet: Donut Shops in NC," Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at the South Regional Library, 4505 S. Alston Ave., Durham. www.durhamcountylibrary.org.

Speaking of doughnuts, the Cooking Channel's Donut Showdown, airing Nov. 6 at 1 a.m. and 9 p.m. (and various times later in the month) includes Rise's Tom Ferguson and Brian Wiles. The episode features an elimination round with a mystery ingredient of bran and raisin cereal (we'll fight the urge to make an elimination joke here) before culminating with a "Bejeweled" themed final showdown.

Expect to hear more of Homer's words Saturday at Southern Season as people murmur "Mmmmmm ... beer." (That could be either Homer, the ancient Greeks appreciated brews as much as Mr. Simpson likes Duff's).

That tasty beverage will be extolled as part of the Chapel Hill store's Beer Extravaganza. A highlight of the event will be the unveiling of the winners of Southern Season's third annual home brewing contest. Home brewers could select to compete in one of three categories—lager, IPA or fruit/vegetable—and the grand prize winner walks away with a $500 Southern Season gift card. Each category winner gets a $75 gift card from the gourmet food and entertaining store.

There will also be sampling from local and national craft brewers and assorted food vendors. For a $1 donation to Share the Food you can take a shot at drinking from the porron, which is a traditional Spanish pitcher that will be filled with Spanish cider for the occasion. Live music and prize giveaways round out the three-hour festivities.

Of course, if that isn't enough fun for you, stick around and enjoy the Beer Extravaganza After Party. That will give you an additional three hours of sampling beer and food while listening to live music. There will also be a cash bar with cocktails and wine available if you hit the beer wall.

Southern Season Beer Extravaganza, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2­–5 p.m., $8 in advance, $10 at the door. After Party, 5–8 p.m., $12 advance, $15 at the door.

Fans of Carrboro Coffee take note. The roaster has partnered with Bowbarr (705 W. Rosemary St., Carrboro) for a couple of tempting cocktail concoctions. One is called the Snake Charmer and it is made with Mezcal, elderberry syrup from Honeysuckle Tea House and coffee. Drink it chilled and neat with an orange zest. The other one, which piqued our interest, is called the Little Bean and is made with bourbon, vanilla bean brown sugar syrup and coffee. You can drink it either over ice or chilled and neat.

They've also joined with Steel String Brewery to create the No Quarter Imperial Stout. The coffee and oatmeal stout is made using, among other ingredients, cold pressed Guatemala La Providencia. You can find it now at Open Eye Café, Steel String, Beer Study and Caffe Driade; it may become available at other locations shortly.

Carrboro Coffee has also been chosen as "guest roaster" for the month of November at Raleigh's Brew in Seaboard Station. That means you can go to Brew to get the company's Ethiopia Yergz and its Sumatra Royal Badger.

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