What were my favorites after making gallons upon gallons of ice cream? Just like when you’re choosing a beer for drinking, there isn’t one best choice for ice cream. The only ground rules are it has to be malty, not hoppy (hops get bitter when cooked) and it has to have a decent ABV. My all-around champ remains Stingo. It’s beery and epicurean at once. Old Chubb, my favorite Scotch ale, is a close second. Sam Adams’ Maple Pecan Porter made a surprisingly yummy ice cream—good even when I wasn’t really in the mood for beer. On the bolder front, Southern Tier’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Founder’s Breakfast Stout hit the spot when I craved serious, heady beer flavor with a more bitter bite. Belgian-style Maudite was the mildest of what I tried, and its flavor came through as elegant and subdued. If I owned a nice restaurant, it would go on the menu. Stone’s barleywine was surprisingly tasty, though it pushed the ABV limits a bit. I stayed away from the flavored stuff (coffee, chocolate, crème brûlée, et al)—if I want coffee ice cream, I’ll just make coffee ice cream. If I could get my hands on some Goose Island Bourbon County, I bet the results would be phenomenal. I have a running list of beers yet to try.
Merging my dual loves for ice cream making and beer drinking seems like a no-brainer.