L.A. Beer Week organizers have been working to showcase beer in many ways from October 7-17, including beer-pairing dinners, cheese pairings, L.A. Beer Float Showdown II and even in ice cream. Scoops ice cream wizard Tai Kim is a beer ice cream veteran and has been instrumental in the success of The Golden State’s beer floats, so he was the obvious choice to produce L.A. Beer Week ice creams and sorbets. Committee members Jay Baum, Dave Watrous, Jace Milstead and Gev Kazanchyan were all in the house on September 25 for a sneak preview. So were Matthew Kang (Scoops Westside), Caroline Pardilla (Caroline on Crack), Esther Tseng (e*starLA), Stan Lee + Cambria Griffith (Drink Eat Travel). The idea was to get in and get out before Kim opened for business, so the preview began at 9 AM. That wasn’t a problem; it just gave participants an excuse to eat beer ice cream for breakfast.
Kim allowed us into his back room, the Scoops inner sanctum, where he mixed two flavors before pouring them into the machines.
Kim prepared the raw materials for his ice cream and sorbet prior to our arrival. He sweetened crushed hazelnuts with simple syrup, then added the gritty slurry to a deep-dish metal pan. He added the snow-white ice cream base, mixed the two and poured the liquid into the ice cream machine. After the mix had frozen half-way, he poured in Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat. He also mixed some raspberry puree with pear puree and simple syrup. Mid-way through its deep freeze, Kim added St. Louis Framboise, a raspberry Lambic, to produce a sweet-tart sorbet. This didn’t happen during our visit, but Kim said he also planned to pair Schneider Weisse with almonds and honey to form an ice cream.
Tai Kim already had five pilot batches ready, which he made using committee member donations. We of course tried scoops of all five: Chimay Premiere (Red) with apricot, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA with mocha, Unibroue Quelque Chose with cherry, The Bruery Autumn Maple with molasses and Guinness tiramisu. Kim said some other pilot batches didn’t pan out nearly as well, including Stone Arrogant Bastard with dulce de leche, which he decided was “way too bitter.”
By the time we finished the initial quintet, Kim was ready with the two new batches.
After the tasting, all of the attendees moved in front of Scoops for a group photo.
Kim and the committee members plan to introduce the beer ice creams at Scoops on October 11, beginning at 7 PM. The flavors will be available for the rest of L.A. Beer Week, through October 17.