Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe typically holds a trivia night each Wednesday, but on the most recent Wednesday there was only one question being answered at the Nanuet establishment: what does beer-infused ice cream taste like?
On Wednesday, the owners of Brewer’s Cow, from Old Lyme, CT., came to Growler & Gill with samples for people to taste their ice cream. They brought along two of their flavors: Bavarian Beer Brittle, made with Sam Adams, and Black and Tan, which is made with Guinness.
The idea started in about 2002 at the Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe, which is owned by Steve Albert. He said someone suggested trying to make beer ice cream for St. Patrick’s Day, so they tried to use some Guinness when making the ice cream.
“We tried and that year it didn’t really work,” Albert said. “It’s not as easy as pouring beer in the machine. It didn’t come out, but it became kind of an obsession for us and we just kept going at it and going at it, and we finally came up with a decent recipe.”
The recipe calls for the beer to be reduced and combined with hops and other ingredients typically found in beer. Then that’s added to a cream and another flavor, such as fudge. They started selling the ice cream about two years ago out of their store in Connecticut and have recently tried to sell elsewhere.
They appeared on the ABC show “Shark Tank” to try and get funding to take their idea national and into other stores. They didn’t get any money from the sharks.
“We weren’t received too well,” said Larry Blackwell, one of the owners of Brewer’s Cow. “However, our ice cream was received well.”
On the show, the sharks had issues with what they perceived as the Brewer’s Cow guys’ lack of business acumen. However, since the show aired Blackwell said they’ve had people from all over the world reach out about ordering the ice cream. They’re looking to get it into stores because it’s expensive to ship while keeping it cool.
The owners of Growler read about their company while looking up recipes for beer-infused ice cream and invited them to hold a tasting. The ice cream was a hit Wednesday night with the packed Growler’s crowd.
“The beer taste was subtle, but you could taste it,” said Greg Aull, of New City. “It’s not like drinking a bitter beer. It’s refreshing.”
Aull added that he’s not normally a fan of Guinness, but really liked the Black and Tan ice cream, which is made with Guinness, more than the beer itself. He also said he’d “absolutely come back” and have more if Growler carried it.
Growler co-owner Joe Fitzgerald said the idea in bringing Brewer’s Cow in was to see if people would like the ice cream and to talk to the owners about possibly carrying the ice cream.
Erin Brennan, of Nanuet, and Melissa Callen, of Nyack, both said they’d also have it again if Growler decided to carry it.
“The Sam Adams one had more of a beer finish,” Callen said. “The Guinness one was a bit more subtle and you really tasted the ice cream. They did a good job.”
Brennan added that the ice cream tasted really good when combined with Growler’s beer-infused brownies, which they put out for the tasting as well.