When we think about ice cream toppings, beer isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But should it be? Recently, Sam Adams brewer Jennifer Glanville and Ben & Jerry’s "Flavor Guru" Eric Fredette (pictured) teamed up to dream up some new summertime beer and ice cream pairings, and what they discovered might surprise you.
The duo conducted hours of what we’re sure was very strenuous research, and the end result only helped to bolster both of their assumptions that the two summertime classics are in fact great pairs. For example, who knew that Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL would go so well with Ben & Jerry’s Pineapple Passion Fruit Greek Frozen Yogurt? We’ll just have to go try the combination for ourselves.
We had a chance to ask Fredette, who’s almost singlehandedly responsible with devising new flavors for the company, a few questions about pairing ice cream and beer.
The Daily Meal: What is so special about the combination of beer and ice cream?
Fredette: Beer and ice cream work well together because the flavors complement each other. Boston Lager has caramel and toffee notes; these play very well with the chocolate in Chocolate Therapy. The carbonation in the beer lifts the flavors from the ice cream off your palate, it’s euphoric.
This combination works well as a pairing or a float. As a float, the ice cream melts into the beer creating the most decadent chocolate milk you have ever had. Amazing! One of the best things is this can be spontaneous; there is no recipe. You can have guests combine flavors at will.
Would you be interested in releasing beer-flavored ice cream as a Ben & Jerry’s release?
Personally, I would love a project that paired beer and our ice cream in a pint. I have tried a few beer ice cream concepts in the past. Caramel stout ice cream is a wonderful treat. It works well with chocolate ice cream also. Again I think beer and our funky flavors have a lot in common. Both have a full range and depth of flavors that complement each other.
What types of beer go with what particular ice cream?
We focused on the summer beer styles for Sam Adams for these pairings. We found that the lighter Summer Ale worked well with the fruity flavors of our Greek frozen yogurts. Again, lots of common flavors, citrus, and floral top notes. We really liked the Blueberry Hill Lager combined with vanilla ice cream. It was like a summer BBQ dessert. The ice cream adds a smooth creamy texture and the carbonation of the beer gave just the right amount of foam head on the float. I encourage people to experiment with their favorites. Once they try one they like, the possibilities are endless.