Let’s face it – beer is supposed to be fun. Or at least it should be. Community Beer Works agrees, so they teamed up with Altamont’s Indian Ladder Farms Cidery and Brewery on a beer you’ve most likely never heard of, an Ice Cream Cake Pale Ale, because beer doesn’t have to be serious all the time.
Ice Cream Cake Pale Ale will be released Saturday, March 31 at noon. In addition to being available on draft, the beer will also be available to go in 750ml cans (limit 4 per person)($10). No growler or crowler fills.
Ice Cream Cake Pale Ale is a pale ale brewed with Huell Melon, Brewer’s Gold, and ILFCB’s proprietary Helderberg hops, New York grown and malted 2Row pale malt, New York grown naked oats, lactose, and yellow cake mix. And yes, they actually added a whole ice cream cake. If you must know, the cake mix was Betty Crocker and the cake was chocolate-vanilla.
“Scott (brewer from ILFCB) used to be my assistant in Albany,” CBW’s Director of Brewing Operations Ryan Demler says. “We had the OG Milkshake IPA like 4 or 5 years ago when we were out at an account. We joked about brewing one, so we did and it went over well. After I left Albany and he took over the Pump Station, he brewed “Ice Cream for Pale Ale,” which was a milkshake beer (of sorts), brewed with sugar cones in the mash. We joked back and forth about doing a ‘fro-yo’ beer and others and finally we settled on an Ice Cream Cake Pale Ale. To be honest, it was encouraged by consuming a few beers.”
In this writer’s opinion, it’s truly a wild beer as thankfully we were treated to an advance pint. It opens with aromas of sugar and lactose, not unlike vanilla frosting. The beer is filled with fruity hop notes with faint hints of creamy, yellow cake batter. Yes, you read that right. This beer does actually taste like cake.
“Long story short, it was a goofy beer to brew,” Demler adds. “We both are committed to brewing stand-along high quality beers, and sometimes we like a little shtick to them. It’s brewed exclusively with New York grown and processed grain and 80% of the hops we used in this beer were grown right on the farm with ILFCB. Drinkers should expect a fruity-hop expressive IPA, with a touch of lactose sweetness, and medium-soft mouthfeel.”
The Indian Ladder Farms collaboration was not the only collab CBW brewed recently, far from it actually. Or, as Demler puts it, ‘we’ve got a lot of irons in a lot of fires.’ They have also collaborated with Big Ditch Brewing on a new Double IPA, Rochester’s Swiftwater Brewing on a Coffee IPA and Auburn’s Prison City on a new Pineapple IPA.
The Swiftwater collab is a Coffee IPA brewed with coffee from Tipico coffee and Joe Bean in Rochester to go along with Cascade and Denali hops. Demler says to expect super low bitterness, and nice, but not punchy, coffee flavor and aroma. Tentative plans call for the beer to be canned.
The Prison City beer is a Pineapple IPA brewed with Sacch Trois, the yeast formerly known as Brett Trois. It features grilled pineapple added near the end of fermentation, plus a heathy dry-hop addition. It’s expected to be, at least according to Demler, a low-bitterness citrusy, tropical fruit bomb.
“Ben, the head brewer at Prison City is a good friend of many of us in the craft beer scene. He was big in the Western New York home brewing scene with Ethan, Robert and a number of other folks in the Buffalo/Rochester area. When he opened up Prison City him and Ethan started talking about the possibility of brewing a beer together. Like many of these collabs, it started with a few conversations over a few beers and went on from there. We all agreed that we wanted to brew a fruit-flavor forward beer using the yeast formally known as ‘Brett Trois’ and add some tasty hops. In the whirlpool we used El Dorado and Citra and in the DH we used galaxy.”
For more information on the Ice Cream Cake Pale Ale release, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/224624291435486/. Release plans for all of the other collaborations will be announced in the coming weeks.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at email@example.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.