Beer and Ice Cream – A Growing Alliance?

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla? Chocolate? Perhaps you’re a bit more daring and prefer something like mint chocolate chip or even “Moose Tracks”. While those are all relatively “standard” flavors today, the world of ice cream is expanding and the craft beer industry has a lot to do with what’s going on. What’s happening here?

A Melding of Different Flavors

Like craft beer, handmade “craft” ice cream is enjoying a resurgence throughout the nation but particularly on the West Coast. Places like San Francisco and Portland are experiencing a boom in the number of independent creameries offering unique flavors for their customers. For instance, Bi-Rite Creamery offers San Francisco residents the chance to enjoy soft serve flavors like balsamic strawberry ice cream or spicy chocolate. It seems that the sweet and savory trend is becoming more and more popular. How does beer fit in here? 

One creamery (Salt & Straw Ice Cream) is combining bacon and beer to create an unforgettable experience. The beer is provided by Laurelwood Brewery and features local organic ingredients. The ice cream is also billed as a “straight from the farm to the cone” concept, which is highly appealing to consumers today who are more and more concerned about the healthiness and quality of the foods they’re eating. 

Salt & Straw Ice Cream also plans to offer other ice cream flavors that combine beer and unusual ingredients, such as pear and bleu cheese, or salted caramel. Each beer chosen for use in the company’s offerings will be local and chosen for the quality and freshness of their brews.

Will It Last?

Will this boom of beer and unusual flavor combinations last? That will take some time to tell for certain. It’s currently a big hit with people, particularly due to the novelty of some of these flavor combinations. Whether or not that novelty is enough to keep people coming back for more might be another story. Creamery owners are hoping to cement some new favorite flavors with their customers but also hope to use their changing line of unique flavor combinations to keep customers checking back to see what’s on offer.

For local breweries, this certainly represents a new avenue through which to sell their products as well as to improve their market share and branding. It might just work to their advantage as well. Who knows; you might soon find beer and bacon flavored ice cream for sale in your town soon.

 

Posted on June 26, 2011 .