I scream, you scream, “This beer tastes like ice cream!”
Yep, we’re talking ice cream beers.
First, they brewed an Ice Cream Brown Ale flavored like chocolate, an Ice Cream Pale Ale flavored like vanilla, and an Ice Cream IPA flavored like cloudberry – a popular ice cream flavor in Sweden, where Omnipollo is based.
Then, they introduced Rocky Road (an imperial peanut oatmeal porter brewed with marshmallows & cacao nibs), Texas Pecan (an imperial pecan oatmeal porter brewed with caramel sauce and vanilla), and Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie (a kettle sour* conditioned on lemon juice), alongside the original Vanilla Ice Cream Pale Ale.
These beers don’t just have ice cream-inspired flavors though. They’ve got an (ice-) creamy texture, too.
An additional ingredient, lactose, or milk sugar, is included in the brew. Milk sugar can’t be fermented by yeast, so it remains in the finished beer, giving it a slightly heavier, almost creamy, mouthfeel.
It’s starting to sound more like ice cream now, isn’t it?!
Late last year, I tried a half pint of the Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie served on draft.
The beer is hazy yellow, like a glass of cloudy lemonade, with a fluffy, white, long-lasting head. The first taste is lemony tart, from the kettle souring and the lemon juice, but it ends with a sweet finish from the lactose – much like the dessert itself. Additionally, the lactose gives the beer a meringue-like mouthfeel and creamy texture. Quite different from beer as we know it!
Not only are these beers brewed with the additional ingredients to make them taste like your favorite ice cream flavors, they’re also topped with an innovative head of frozen, or “slushiefied”, beer to make them look like soft serve.
Omnipollo uses a slushie machine (like the ones you see in convenience stores across the States) to give their ice cream beers the perfect presentation. Ta-dah!
Unfortunately, you have to visit Omnipollos hatt in Sweden to have the beer (soft-) served as the brewery intended, but these incredible flavors come through when the beer is served in bottles or on draft, too.
Or for all you DIYers out there, for $49 (less than the cost of a flight to Sweden!), you can buy an at-home beer slushie maker and give your ice cream beer the perfect pour. (Shout out to Kirin who created this crazy bit of kit in Japan in 2012!)
What flavor of ice cream would you like to see translated into a beer? These days, anything’s possible.
Might as well make a beer worth screaming about, right?!
*What is a kettle sour you ask? The simple explanation is that it’s beer that has had lactic acid bacteria (primarily Lactobacillus, the bacteria that gives Greek yogurt its tartness) added into the kettle before the boil. The bacteria consume sugars in the wort and produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH and provides acidity, or tartness, to the finished beer. The kettle temperature is then raised to a boil, killing off the bacteria, and the brew continues as normal.
For a more in-depth explanation of kettle souring and the difference between sour and wild beers, check back early April, as that’s the next post I’m working on!
Image source: Omnipollo’s Instagram
Additional sources (beyond links above): Conversation with Omnipollo via Facebook on March 21, 2017.