Our kitchen has crafted well over 1000 recipes over our past 10 years (not even including the ones left in recipe books for further tinkering), each highlighting ingredients in unexpected ways, and teaching us something new along the way. Some capture our inaugural Student Inventors Series (looking at you, Cinnatopia Cinnamon Bun) or mark a milestone like our first-ever Vegandulgence™ series (make sure to taste our Lemon Cheesecake Crumble). Others retell the beginning of lasting partnerships and the practice of spreading—not withholding—knowledge among our cities’ great talents (Salted Caramel Cupcake) and sharing stories that inspire us in our local communities where we scoop (Strawberry Tres Leches). Many of these unlocked flavors also represent innovative “firsts'' for us, methods and techniques that allowed us to see ice cream through a wider lens than traditionally expected.
One of our most pivotal recipes takes us right back to the beginning. Yep, all the way back to the Scoop Cart on Alberta. Enter: Brown Ale & Bacon. Crafted by our co-founder and head ice cream maker, Tyler Malek, long before he was officially the head ice cream maker (well, he was the only ice cream maker), this earliest of flavors spins a narrative of eschewing convention.
Set with the task of crafting the Maple Bacon that was, well, not the same Maple Bacon that you could find anywhere else, Tyler turned to an unconventional partner for the answer: a brewer. Brown ale has this inherently sweet maple-y flavor offset with a toasty malt finish. But you can’t just combine beer and ice cream; it doesn’t work out very well. For starters, beer is delicious, but it just isn’t concentrated enough to stand up the high fat content in ice cream. And you run the risk of distorting the character of the beer if you try to cook off some of the water in order to intensify the flavor.
This flavor proved vital to our flavor evolution for a few reasons. And most importantly, it marks a mindshare of our city’s culinary resources. This flavor marked our first-ever collaboration with a local brewery, now a favorite of ours, and presented the challenge on how to mimic their brewing process in ice cream.
This year, we teamed up with Great Notion to use their Brown Ale to flavor the ice cream, which is a malt-bomb. But this ice cream wouldn’t dare stop at just a great maple flavor - we’ve amp up the yum by tossing in bits of our bacon brittle (think the most incredible sugar-tossed crispy bits of bacon) for a sweet and savory one-two punch.
Be sure to experience all of the epic flavors that we’ve reunited with from our Vault this year. You'll never know when you'll be able to taste them next.