A recent article in the New York Times highlights companies around the country that are combining two summer staples: ice cream and beer. Ice cream manufacturer Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, OH makes a flavor called Yazoo Sue With Rosemary Bar Nuts, inspired by Yazoo Brewing Company’s smoked-cherry-wood malted porter. Owner Jeni Britton combines the porter with roasted nuts tossed in cayenne, rosemary, brown sugar, and salt to make an ice cream which reminds her of a meaty roast.

Meanwhile, Tyler Malek, the head ice-cream maker at Salt & Straw in Portland, Oregon has developed a six pack of beer ice creams. “He worked with local brewers to ‘deconstruct, then reconstruct'” specific beers into ice creams using a variety of malts, lactic acid, a partly fermented beer, yeasts, a bourbonbarrel and whole and pellet hops,” the Times reports.

While beer ice cream can legally contain only 0.5% ABV, beer floats offer something for those who want a more serious buzz from their frozen treat. Murray’s Cheese Bar in NYC has an entire menu of beer floats, which includes one that pairs wild cherry Chiriboga Blue Cheese ice cream with Oud Beersel Framboise, a Belgian raspberry lambic.

We got to thinking: What beer ice creams would we like to see if we ruled over the ice cream-beer pairing universe? Here are a few ideas

  • Chocolate ice cream and Belgian sour Kriek beer: Specifically, Liefmans Cuvee Brut—which tastes like concentrated sour cherries—with a dark chocolate ice cream like Talenti’s Double Dark Chocolate gelato, made with Semisweet Belgian Callebaut chocolate. It’s like an amped up chocolate-cherry Coke float!
  • Brown bread gelato and Old Rasputin Imperial Stout: Okay, we didn’t think of this genius combination. L.A.’s The Golden State restaurant serves a beer float made with North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout—a rich, chocolatey, yeasty brew—with brown bread ice cream from local manufacturer Scoop’s. The two malty treats go together like bread and…imperial stout.
  • Salted Crack Caramel ice cream and Breakside Salted Caramel Milk Stout: Why not guild the lily and pair the Salted Crack Caramel ice cream from Brooklyn’s Ample Hills with more salted caramel magic? Breakside Brewing‘s Salted Caramel Milk Stout is brewed with lactose caramel and fleur de sel, making it what ratebeer.com calls “the most addictive dessert beer ever made.”

Feel free to try these pairings out at home, and let us know what you think.

[via The New York Times]