When I was asked to partner with Baskin-Robbins for this ice cream and beer tasting, you could imagine how psyched I was. It was great, and all my opinions are my own.
What if you really loved two things. Let’s just say one of these things were called ice cream and the other was called beer. What if you were asked to have both of these things at one time, all the while taking a tour of a place that you love already. Well, what if become reality on one fine day. And it was good. In fact, it was really good. Better than I would have thought. Let me slam you with some mind-blowing information because I think I’m still trying to process it all.
High level – Baskin-Robbins partnered with All About Beer Magazine, America’s leading beer publication, to identify ten popular ice cream flavors to pair with a range of cold brews. Now, as awesome as that already seems, they decided to pair some amazing ice cream with beers from one of my all-time favorite breweries,BrooklynBrewery. These are very heady times, people. You know there was no way I was missing this one, even if it meant I had to trek to the wilds of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Upon entering the friendly confines of the brewery, I was greeted with a warm welcome and encouraging messages welcoming me to eat ice cream and drink beer. Now, if you know me, then you know I had to take a deep breath and pinch myself really, really, really hard to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating off of the hipster air I had been breathing in. I was not delirious or dreaming, well, maybe I was dreaming, but it was a real-life actually happening dream. I was all-in, baby! One all-time top choice Brooklyn Lager, please. Oh, yes, I’d like to try to some ice cream, too. Sure, why not. Yes, I’d like to do that before I tour the brewery. Oh sure. Whatevs. It’s not like I’m totes excited.
Anyway, as I was taking all of the glory in, it was time to hit the tour. It was great to see how the beer was made and it was a really interesting talk. It was a great setup and it was nice to see people that truly believed in and loved what they did. It’s like me with blogging, except you can’t drink blogging.
The tour was nice and pretty quick, which worked well since the beer and ice cream mind-blowing session was to commence right after it was over. We went back to the tasting room/bar area and heard about the idea from a brewer as well as a Baskin-Robbins Culinary Team member, Chef Kelly German. It was interesting to hear about how it all went down and what went into it all. To sum it up…beer is awesome, ice cream is awesome, beer and ice cream together would likely be awesome-er. They were correct. Very, very correct.
It was down to business. The ice cream and beer pairings truly were delicious. I kid you not. There was not one that wasn’t good. Like everything else in life, some were just a tad bit better. These were the pairings:
- Very Berry Strawberry and Sorachi Ace Saison: Very Berry Strawberry is made all the more creamy when sipped with saison, bringing forth a citrus burst of lime and orange. Rich vanilla blankets the saison’s earthy and spicy qualities, and chunks of sweet berries shine through in this delightful combination.
- Pralines ‘n Cream and Pilsner: The classic pilsner style, with sweet cereal-like malt takes the place of a cone when paired with this southern-style treat. The nuttiness and sweetness of the ice cream balances out some of the more assertive beer flavors, creating a delectable combination.
- Chocolate and Brown Ale: 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.
- Nutty Coconut and Lager: Crisp lager cuts clean through rich, complex layers of coconut, pecan and walnut. However, the beer also elicits subtle flavors from the ice cream, most notably cinnamon. This pairing is perfectly matched for a summer vacation.
- Watermelon Splash Ice and Summer Ale: This combination is perfect for summer, pairing the more floral hops of summer ale with the flavors of a hot weather staple, watermelon. It’s a refreshing combination for the warmer months ahead.
- Mango Breeze and Defender IPA: This creamy ice cream boasts big, vibrant fruit flavors from the mango ice cream and mango-flavored ribbon. Those notes fit right in with an IPA’s hops, while an additional layer of mango notes cover the beer’s malt sweetness.
Now, I’m telling you, these were truly all good. Very good. Surprisingly good. The ice cream alone was great. So was the beer. And together, it really popped. The carbonation, the creaminess, the sweetness, the bitterness, it really worked well. Maybe this is why root beer floats have been popular forever, you think?
Of all of these, however, two really stood tall above the rest. The absolute clear winner was the Mango Breeze and Defender IPA. The Mango Breeze was one of the best ice creams I’ve tasted in some time. The IPA was amazing and fresh. The two together really meshed like they were designed to be paired. No joke, it was amazing. I could have had just that and been really pleased with the whole experience, it was that good. Do yourself a big favor and try this out for yourself. You can send all “thank you” and “love you” notes to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re welcome.
Closely in second was Watermelon Splash Splash Ice with Summer Ale. For reals, the mix of the crisp, lighter beer with the tang and refreshing ice was truly delicious. Really nice again. If it wasn’t for the mango magic, this would have been tough to beat. Meant to pair, so tasty and refreshing.
These two flavors are like summer in a glass/cup/cone…whatever. The entire experience really opened up my eyes a bit. I’m pretty adventurous and will try anything once (or twice), and this happily delivered the goods. The flavors and textures just worked. And worked well. This is something I will unquestionably be doing this summer. And fall. And winter. More people need to get on this train, because the train is a taste sensation.
Now this was a Father’s Day gift and celebration I can really get behind.
For more information about Baskin-Robbins’ wide variety of premium ice cream flavors and frozen desserts:
To find our more about Brooklyn Brewery, check out BrooklynBrewery.com.