It was a happy accident, swears Ari Fleischer, founder of Atlanta’s Frozen Pints Craft Beer Ice Cream.
At a party two years ago, a friend spilled a beer next to an ice cream maker, prompting Fleischer to wonder what beer ice cream would taste like.
“It was a moment of inspiration,” Fleischer said. “When I saw it, I said, ‘We should pour the beer in there and see what happens.’ When it worked, I thought, ‘This is genius. This is what I want to do.’ ”
The impromptu trial combined vanilla ice cream and bock beer and became Frozen Pints first flavor, Vanilla Bock.
Fleischer calls it “the one that started it all.” But it took a lot of experimentation and couple more years of building the business before Frozen Pints made it to market.
Now, Vanilla Bock and four more flavors are available at select metro Atlanta beverage retailers, including Decatur Package Store, Green’s Beverages, Hop City, Mac’s Beer and Wine, Smoke Rise Bottle Shoppe and Smyrna World of Beverage.
Originally from New York, Fleischer graduated from Emory in 2006 and worked in market research before only recently going full-time with Frozen Pints.
“That background was great,” Fleischer said. “Anything about creating a product and building a brand was hugely helpful. And I’ve been really passionate about craft beer for as long as I can remember. All the different styles and flavors are just fascinating.”
Besides Vanilla Bock, the other four year-round Frozen Pints flavors are Peach Lambic, Honey IPA, Brown Ale Chip and Malted Milk Chocolate Stout. Seasonal flavors include Pumpkin Ale and Cinnamon Espresso Stout.
“We try to get as much flavor from the beer as possible, so we start with the beer,” Fleischer said. “I’ll go to pub and try a bunch of beers until I find one that I think could be a good ice cream flavor. Then I work with that to create the ice cream and find the right balance.
“For instance, with the IPA, I wanted something sweet and floral to balance the bitterness of hops so I added the honey. That one is really unique because you get the honey up front and the hops come in back along with a slight citrus flavor.”
As for the future of Frozen Pints, Fleischer said he plans to focus on Atlanta first.
“I really love this city and I want to be everywhere here that we can be,” he said. “We want to work with a lot of local companies, including bars and restaurants, and we’re going to be doing events and beer festivals. After that, we’d like to get to some other places in the state, especially Athens and Savannah.”
Locate Frozen Pints Craft Beer Ice Cream and events at: www.frozenpints.com
Beer Pick: Innis & Gunn Independence Day 2012
Profile: Scotland’s Innis & Gunn is known for its distinctive oak-aged beer and the brewery’s newest limited-edition offering is no exception. It’s brewed with American hops in honor of Independence Day, then matured for 54 days in American white oak barrels. The result is a zesty, refreshing, reddish ale with a subtle mix of aromas and flavors including biscuit malt and citrus hops.
Pair with: Try Independence Day with smoked fish or wood-grilled meats or maybe a bowl of Frozen Pints Brown Ale Chip ice cream.
Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News, a bimonthly beer publication distributed throughout the Southeast: www.brewingnews.com/southernbrew
By Bob Townsend, AJC Drink blog