Beer Floats – Fizzy Insult or Carbonated Classic?

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Depending on whom you talk to, making ice cream floats with beer is either a genius idea, or a horrible mistake. In fact, I remember hearing one food writer describe a local beer float tasting as “fizzy insults,” which is a clever phrase, but not necessarily true, if the pairing is done properly.

The key is to choose a beer that’s on the toasty, malty, sweeter side, and stay away from beers that are too hoppy, dry, and bitter. But fair warning, even using a sweet, mellow brew, this is quite a different experience, which is why I suggested having some regular root beer around, just in case.

As far as the ice cream goes, there are as many flavors as there are choices of beers, but the safest, and probably most effective option would be plain, old vanilla, especially if using a fruit-infused brew. The exception to that would be if you were pouring a dark beer that features chocolate and coffee notes. In that case, a chocolate or coffee ice cream might be just the thing.

But no matter what beer you decide to pair with which ice cream, I’d make a small test glass first, to make sure it works for you and your palette. And if it doesn’t, don’t feel bad, since you’re still going to be eating ice cream and drinking beer, just not together. Either way, I really do hope you give these beer floats a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for an Ice Cream Beer Float:
1 cup of appropriate beer (something sweet and/or fruity, but not too bitter, dry, or sour)
1/3 cup vanilla ice cream

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