This post was co-authored by Lisa DeCanio & Alex Weaver.

Beer and ice cream. You enjoy both of them, often to excess. So why not put them together?

Last night, we the dueling lifestyle writers of BostInno, Lisa and Alex, attended a tasting at Samuel Adams, in which the brewery partnered up with Ben & Jerry’s for a one-of-a-kind pairing event to kick off summer. The purpose was to get us to think outside of the six-pack and consider beer as a complimentary drink to so much more than barbequed burgers.

After hours of truly awful research, Samuel Adams brewer Jennifer Glanville and Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru Eric Fredette (a.k.a the two people with the best jobs in New England), came up with four flavor combinations:

Pairings

  • Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL and Pineapple Passionfruit Greek Frozen Yogurt
  • Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Chocolate Therapy Ice Cream

Floats

  • Samuel Adams Summer Ale and Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt
  • Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager and Vanilla Ice Cream

Like traditional beer pairings, the pairings at the event featured a Sam Adams brew, meant to be sipped pre- and post-spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry’s. Of course, they were as delicious as you would imagine beer and ice cream are, but what really got us going were the beer floats. Because nothing screams “summer” like plopping a big ole scoop of ice cream into an alcoholic beverage. You can sip ‘em, scoop ‘em, or let them melt into a fizzy, creamy drink that leaves you with a nice buzz once downed.

Throughout the event, representatives from the brewery and creamery stressed how this inventive pairing was meant to be just that – inventive – and they urged us to simply trust our taste buds when creating our own beer float combinations. There are no wrong pairings, they reminded us.

So, we took that advice to heart and came up with our own Sam Adams/Ben & Jerry’s floats to show you just how easy it is.

Happy summer!

Lisa’s creation: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Grab a spoon for this one. Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie is one of their chunkiest, loaded with huge pieces of gooey brownies. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate, but last night’s pairing of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Fredette’s own creation, Chocolate Therapy Ice Cream. was among my favorites, and I wanted to recreate it with a little more fruit flavor. Hence, I chose to use Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat for this float. Cherry and chocolate go undeniably well together, and I’d gladly devour this float as a post-meal treat any day of the week.

Alex’s creation: Sam Adams Black and Brew Coffee Stout and Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Caramel Buzz

In my estimation, there’s a subtle way to pair complimentary flavors, and then there’s the old hit-’em-over-the-head-with-it routine. Being a man of a bolder beer persuasion, I enjoy a hearty stout. Yes, Glanville and Fredette made a point of mentioning that their pairing endeavor was about highlighting other beers — not your typical porters or stouts so oft associated with sweets — but, well, they also said there’s no wrong way to do this, so here we are.

For my booze float, I’m envisioning a giant mug of frothy coffee and caramel goodness. The potent Sumatran coffee beans of the stout combined with the smooth whiskey caramel swirl of the ice cream is a guaranteed killer combination. Is it super light and summery? I don’t know, does 90 degree heat say booze coffee milkshake with a whiskey caramel splash to you?

What combinations of beer and ice cream would you pair?