Don’t let National Ice Cream Month (July) pass without doing something special.
A year ago, Baskin-Robbins sent us ice cream and beer pairings of their favorite flavors, We found the article in our drafts folder, which inspired today’s tip:
Love beer? Love ice cream? Don’t hesitate to serve them together. Beer floats like the Guinness Float have been popular for several years. The recipe is simple:
Add ice cream to the glass and top with beer.
If you prefer hard cider to beer, this tip works for you, too; maybe even better, given the sweet succulence of some ciders.
You can experiment with other types of beer floats, as well as open a beer to serve with a dish of ice cream, plain or à la mode.
Beyond floats, have a dish of ice cream or a sundae. You could have a cone, but the idea of a cone in one hand and a beer in the other is too much of a balancing act for us. (Perhaps that’s where a beer drinking helmet comes in handy.)
In fact, have a pairing party with some basic flavors (chocolate, coffee, vanilla). The pairings go far beyond lambic and fruit ale. How about:
Chocolate ice cream with kriek, a cherry-flavored Belgian ale, regular or chocolate stout.
Coffee or mocha ice cream with stout, especially coffee stout and Imperial stout.
Vanilla ice cream with lambic, a raspberry-flavored ale, chocolate or coffee stout.
Spicy beers with spicy ice cream: cinnamon, pumpkin pie, etc.
The pairing concept works with sorbet, as well. We just polished off an Angry Orchard Summer Honey Cider with some Lactaid vanilla ice cream.
We’ve previously covered beer-and-ice cream articles, such as:
Make Your Own Beer Ice Cream
Chocolate Stout Ice Cream & Beer Float Recipes
Peanut Butter Cake With Beer Foam
Spiced Beer & Apple Pie Float
You can make those recipes, but why not strike out on your own to find the pairings you like best. You can pair beer with ice cream or sorbet. Just follow three simple rules.
HOW TO PAIR BEER & ICE CREAM
1. Start with basic flavors. Once you know what you like, you can go for the more complex.
2. Avoid beers that are bitter, crisp or dry. Instead, choose those with some residual sweetness.
3.Look for a beer with notes that match the ice cream. Different beers can have notes of chocolate, citrus, coffee, fruit, spice. For fall, e.g., there’s pumpkin ale to go with pumpkin spice ice cream.
These pairings were recommended by John Holl of All About Beer Magazine. with his comments in quotes. They’ll give you more ideas on how to pair.
Cherries Jubilee with Barleywine. “A barleywine coaxes out the rich cherry and rum flavor in this ice cream. Bittersweet and leather flavors emerge as well, begging for this combo to be enjoyed in dad’s favorite leather chair.”
Chocolate with Belgian Quad. “This beer is bursting with flavors that love chocolate. Two classics with great depth and rich sweetness that only get better with each lick and sip.”
Jamoca Almond Fudge with Blueberry Ale. “Brewers are taking the sweet, tangy, earthy blueberry and adding it to caramel-tinged ales, making it a perfect complement to this frozen coffee, nutty, chocolatey concoction. Lively fruit flavors pair wonderfully with the chocolate flavored ribbon.”
Mint Chocolate Chip with Coffee Porter or Stout. “The ale already has some cocoa and java flavors and it mixes nicely with the roast of the chocolate chips and the herbal, cool mint flavor of the ice cream.”
Peanut Butter N’ Chocolate with Doppelbock. “Nutty and creamy, with an assertive chocolate base, the ice cream brings out the best in this malt-forward dark brown lager.”
Pralines ’n Cream with a Pilsner or a Mango Ale. “The classic pilsner style, with sweet cereal-like malt takes the place of a cone when paired with this southern-style treat. Additionally, two of the most popular beer styles this summer are mango-flavored pale ales and India pale ales. The nuttiness and sweetness of the ice cream balance out some of the more assertive beer flavors, creating a delectable combination.”
Rocky Road With Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. “A candy lover’s dream! The stout has sweet chocolate, rich espresso, and generic red berry flavors that party hard with the almond, marshmallow, and deep chocolate of the ice cream. Rocky Road adds creaminess to the hearty beer and this combination makes for an excellent ice cream beer float.”
Vanilla with Peach Lambic. “Sweet and creamy vanilla gets a boost from the lambic, which is fermented with peaches and aged in barrels. Slightly spicy and effervescent, the fruity character of the ale will act like a sauce for the ice cream. This lambic style helps to recreate the classic peaches and cream combination.”
Very Berry Strawberry with Hefeweizen. “It’s the start of a fruit salad. Bright, vibrant strawberry mixes with the banana esters in the classic German Hefeweizen. The sweet berry will also help control the assertive spice bite of the clove flavor found in the beer and counter the acidity found in the lemon wedge often served as a garnish on the rim of the glass.”
Watermelon Splash Ice With Gose*. “Gose is brewed with wheat and salt and is predicted to be the beer of the summer, making it a perfect companion to the hot weather staple – watermelon. Pronounced “Gose-Uh,” look for variations that already include cucumber, prickly pear, or yes, even watermelon flavors.”
 Beer floats combine two of summer’s favorite refreshers: beer and ice cream (photo © Silver Moon Desserts [now closed]).
 A coffee stout ice cream float. Here’s the recipe (photo © Beautiful Booze).
 A vanilla ice cream sundae with salted caramel and honey peanuts, served with brown ale. Here’s the recipe (photo © Somewhere Over The Kitchen).
 If you’re not a beer lover, try hard cider instead. Angry Orchard’s seasonal Summer Honey Cider is a good start (photo © Sanura Weathers).
 Strawberry ice cream with a Hefeweizen? Who knew? (photo © Baskin-Robbins).