Green Bay brewery adds beer-infused ice cream to its taproom menu

Daniel Higgins Jeff Bollier
Green Bay Press-Gazette
Badger State Brewing Co. is turning some its beer in soft serve ice cream just in time for summer.

GREEN BAY - Here's a scoop just in time for summer: You now can order one of Badger State Brewing Company's milkshake IPAs in a waffle cone or dish.

The brewery this week began serving beer-infused soft serve ice cream at its Green Bay taproom for $5 per scoop. One flavor will flow from the soft serve machine at a time and it will change about once a week, said Badger State president Andrew Fabry. 

The fusion of ice cream and beer has been piloted by a few other Wisconsin craft breweries, but Badger State is the first to bring the idea to northeastern Wisconsin. Fabry said it's another way to experiment with craft beer as more people begin to go out after being vaccinated against COVID-19. 

"We're getting back to doing what we do normally," Fabry said. "For us, that  means having fun and innovating and looking at what's next."

The first flavor available, Mega Mango Blackberry Lemonade, will likely be followed by a heavy rotation of the brewery's Tiki Slushie and Milkshape IPA series of beers. He said orange creamsicle and cherry limeade are two other flavors under consideration. He also hinted that Whiskey Business, a 12.2% ABV bourbon barrel aged imperial stout, also could get a turn being turned into ice cream.

So how does it taste?

"We learned with this first batch that the bitterness (of an IPA) really comes through more in the flavor," Fabry said. "The fruit really comes through in the aroma."

Fabry said a little less than a case of beer goes into each batch of beer-infused ice cream, which produces about 100 servings. Each serving has an alcohol-by-volume a little below the percentage of the beer used in that batch. Once one batch is gone, the staff will freeze up the next flavor. 

"The fun of it is the different styles and experimenting with flavors and bringing this unique option to this part of the state," Fabry said. "The options are really endless and that's what's going to keep us really engaged with people."

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The brewers and staff at Badger State had joked about the idea of beer ice cream for years, but got more serious as craft breweries like Milwaukee-based Eagle Park Brewing Co. began selling beer-infused slushies and ice cream. 

But one cannot just add a four-pack of beer, fruit puree and soft-serve mix into an ice cream maker and expect a perfectly-frozen result. 

"Getting the right equipment and learning how to freeze an alcohol product is more tricky than you think," Fabry said. "We finally connected the dots."

Don't expect Badger State's taproom to go all beer-infused ice cream all the time. 

"We want to keep it as an attraction, another fun addition to our taproom," Fabry said. "We're not getting into the ice cream business."

Contact Daniel Higgins Follow @HigginsEats on Twitter and Instagram and like on FacebookContact Jeff Bollier at (920) 431-8387 or Follow him on Twitter at @GBstreetwise.