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10 beer and ice cream pairings for the summer

Beer and ice cream are the odd couple that we’ve always wanted to get along and be paired with one another.

Baskin-Robbins and All About Beer Magazine have subjected themselves to the difficult (and enviable) task of figuring out what to do when we have a quart of mint chip ice cream, but also really, really, want a beer.

“At first glance, you may not think of pairing beer and ice cream together, but once people have a chance to taste these combinations, they will see how well the different flavors complement one another,” said John Holl, editor of All About Beer Magazine, in a press release.

Baskin-Robbins and All About Beer Magazine have listed 10 beer and ice cream combinations to try this summer to tantalize your taste buds. Photo supplied by Baskin-Robbins
Baskin-Robbins and All About Beer Magazine have listed 10 beer and ice cream combinations to try this summer to tantalize your taste buds.
Photo supplied by Baskin-Robbins

The two organizations have teamed up to make everyone’s summer a little better by compiling a list of 10 popular ice cream flavors and the beer styles that will complement each one the best.

“Beer has diverse flavors thanks to its main ingredients – water, malt, hops and yeast. Then, when brewers add culinary ingredients like coffee, fresh fruit, spices and more, the pairing options with ice cream become truly endless. Working with a variety of flavors, we looked to match complementary flavors and intensity, and coax out some nuances from both the beer and the ice cream,” said Holl.

Let us know in the comments if you agree with these pairings, or what you think would make a good beer and ice cream pairing.

Below are the recommendations from Baskin-Robbins culinary team and All About Beer Magazine, along with their notes on each pairing.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rocky Road with 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.
  • 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, one of the most popular beer styles this summer is mango-flavored pale ales and India pale ales. The nuttiness and sweetness of the ice cream balances out some of the more assertive beer flavors, creating a delectable combination.
  • 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.
  • Vanilla with peach lambic: Sweet and creamy vanilla gets a tart boost from the lambic, which is fermented on fresh cherries and aged in barrels. Slightly spicy and effervescent, the fruity character of the ale will act like a sauce for the ice cream. Also look for a peach lambic 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.

Joe Kuharic is the editor of Flavor 574 and co-host of the Flavor 574 podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeKuharic and on Instagram @skippyjoe27.

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