mid a constant motion of experimentation by its chefs, Gilbert’s House of Brews stumbled onto the strange idea to combine beer with ice cream. And, somehow, the combination actually works, and has even become quite popular among customers.
The concept involves turning a flavored beer into an ice-cream concoction, and came as part of the bar’s quest to turn beer into some kind of edible treat.
“Everything that we can make in house, we make it in house,” said Billie McGovern, office manager and self-described “director of hoppiness.”
House of Brews already made its own ice cream on a daily basis with flavors inspired by what the restaurant has in stock before a chef started using Sierra Nevada Brewery’s Hoptimum beer as an ingredient. If it can make beer cheese, beer batter, and beer in their barbecue then why not make beer ice cream?
House of Brews decided to put its creation to the test on June 8.
“We had a really great response,” McGovern said. “I’ll be honest, I was a little worried because its ice cream and beer and I was not sure how that would play off.”
Nervous to test out their innovation, House of Brews went through much more product than anticipated, running out of ice cream before the event ended. Some flavors ran out within the first hour.
“I just didn’t expect it to be this big,” said General Manager and Executive Chef Tim McGovern. “We had over 50 people specifically come in just for it. By about a quarter after two, people started pouring in the door and I thought, ‘This is gonna work.’”
Tim McGovern, who is Billie’s husband, was an executive chef at Dos Gringos for about seven or eight years but recently decided he would much rather prepare items from scratch in a brew house as he currently does. He follows that template with the ice cream, as he starts with a basic vanilla recipe and forms a creation he thinks will work.
Even though the ice cream is made from beer, the alcohol content diminishes during the production process, making it safe for children to eat as well. House of Brews also pairs the ice cream with the beer it was made from.
On the second Sunday of each month during the summer, the restaurant is hosting Sundae Fun Day with a variety of ice cream and beer specials to introduce the new flavors. Each month, one flavor of the four creations will be available for the rest of the month so customers are able to try it throughout the month and not just on Sundae Fun Day.
For next month, Billie McGovern said House of Brews is looking at Colorado-based Boulder Beer, which has flavors like chocolate shake and blueberry the chefs want to tinker with.
House of Brews is located 825 S. Cooper Road in Cooper Marketplace. The cost is $14 for four flight beers and four scoops of ice cream as well as pairing ingredients. There is a build your own ice cream bar set up with several toppings.
Visit azhob.com for more information.
• Brittney Daigneau is a senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an intern with the Tribune this semester. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.