I thoroughly enjoy making people feel confused about beer. There are so many preconceptions about beer caused by the advertising for mass brands that saying two words – “beer float?” – makes people come to a shuddering halt.
Their confusion comes from the concept of adding ice cream to a mass lager. That is, indeed, a confusing concept, and would probably be quite revolting. But taking a nice craft beer with “porter” or “stout” in its name and adding some vanilla bean ice cream to the glass? That’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
How to make a beer float
Take a nice vanilla bean ice cream, and scoop into the bottom of a large glass – iced tea glasses are normally the perfect size. Gently pour on top of the ice cream a small quantity of your chosen stout or porter, and be patient – the beer will foam up a lot, so if you are too enthusiastic about pouring beer onto the ice cream you may commit the terrible crime of wasting good stuff! Once the foam has died down you can add more beer until you get to the “right amount”.
What is the “right amount”? That’s up to you – adjust amount of ice cream and beer to suit your tastes. You can play around with exact ratios of ice cream to beer to suit your own palate, but be warned – the level of research required to sort out your perfect ratio of beer/ice cream can lead to some highly enjoyable evenings with friends!
Taking it further
Once you’ve perfected your beer float, you may wish to experiment with different flavors of ice cream. What about a chocolate or coffee flavor, to add richness to your stout or porter? Or you can try a strawberry icecream with a sweeter light beer, like a saison or a Belgian lambic. Or go the other way, with something like Blue Pants’ Strawberry Saison and vanilla.
This article contains even more suggestions. Have fun!