UPLAND -- Beer ice cream?
Childhood friends Sam Howland, 27, and Bryan Marasco, 28, have seen their fair share of doubters any time they’ve tried serving up their tasty concoction.
“People have their perceptions. Beer, ice cream, together? I don’t know how that’s going to work?” Howland said. “But as soon as they taste it...”
“It’s actually quite the harmony,” Marasco interjects.
The duo have partnered to create Scoops On Tap; a non-alcoholic premium ice cream beer infused with flavors from local craft breweries.
On Friday, Howland, of Claremont, and Marasco, of Covina, will hold a launch party at Dale Bros. Brewery – its first partner craft brewery – to sell a Pomona Queen vanilla malt ice cream and a Black Beer dark chocolate ice cream.
Those two flavors will be available for people to take home. They’re also going to have three specialty flavors that are only going to be sold in scoops, beer floats, or free sample.
There will be three specialty flavors available only at Dale Bros. on Friday: a black raspberry IPA Sherbert, a salted caramel Pomona Queen, and Badlands Coffee caramel ice cream.
“Craft beers are interesting, so it’s all about what we can pair a good ice cream with them,” Howland said. “The beer and the ice cream don’t contrast; they complement.
In 2011, Howland was dabbling in making homemade ice cream when he was inspired to look for ingredients in his refrigerator.
“I was making vanilla ice cream with malt in it and I said, ‘you know what else has malt in it? Beer. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad’,” Howland shared. “That was the Pomona Queen, one of the first flavors that I ever created.”
Marasco and Howland launched the company after selling versions of their beer ice cream at Dale Bros. Brewery events to rave reviews.
“We’ve always wanted to create something of our own,” Marasco said. The entrepreneurs, who grew up in Claremont, have self-funded their business venture, with hopes of expanding to include a mobile truck, or even a brick-and-mortar location.
Soon, Howland and Marasco were taking Dale Bros beers and trying to find new pairings. With the dark larger, Black Beer, which itself has notes of chocolate, malt and a bit roasty; Howland sad he immediately figured it would be perfect with a dark chocolate ice cream.
The first issue for Marasco and Howland was finding a balance between the ice cream flavors and beer extract so that you could taste the beer.
“We select the beer and have a proprietary process where we remove all the alcohol, so you’re just left with the malt or hoppiness of the beer. It’s really what you want,” Howland explained.
What they found in test batches, and the reason alcohol isn’t in their final product, is it just doesn’t make for good ice cream.
“The alcohol does not freeze in the ice cream as well – you do not want to create frozen beer or beer slushy, no one wants to drink that,” Howland said. “When you extract it it heightens the flavor instead of reducing it.”
Following the launch, Scoops on Tap plans to announce the retail locations that will carry the ice cream or restaurants where it can be paired with beer floats or local desserts.
They hope to add more breweries, and when they do, it will mean new flavors.
“Just the way the breweries act, which is they only have beers on tap at a given time, it’s the same for us. We have scoops on tap a certain time,” Howland explained about the concept of the name and business model.
Over the next couple of month the duo will be coming on a weekly, bi-weekly basis as a food vendor to sell at Dale Bros. Eventually they will be selling the ice cream in pints to go at Dale Bros., even when they are not around.
“We’re trying to create an exclusivity for each location that we’re selling the ice cream so that there’s a draw to go to each location,” Howland said.
Scoops on Tap will be at Dale Bros. Brewery, 2120 Porterfield Way, on Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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