How to Make Beer Ice Cream

December 5,2012 by 21 Comments

I first had beer ice cream at Sweet Action here in Denver and was really impressed. They are masters of incorporating odd ingredients into ice cream (sour cream and chives!?!?) and it’s a regular stop of mine.

I knew I had to give beer ice cream a shot, but I had never even made ice cream before let alone with beer in it. It turns out making ice cream is stupid simple. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.

For the beer, I use Left Hand’s Nitro Milk Stout. 8-ounces gives you a nice beer flavor without being too intense. Adjust up or down as you wish. Others beers work too of course. I really like it with Great Divide’s Hibernation Ale. I really want to try it with a big buttery English Strong ale, like Geary’s Hampshire Special. This is one application where diacetyl is desired.

Enjoy the video. The written recipe and directions are below.

Beer Ice Cream Recipe and Instructions

  • 8 oz of beer (helps if you pour it early and let it flatten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 pint (16 oz) heavy whipping cream
  1. Whisk together the yolks, salt, and sugar in a sauce pan or pot. Then mix in the whipping cream.
  2. Slowly heat to 180°F, stirring often. This should take 10 minutes or so. You don’t want to go too high and scramble the eggs.
  3. When the mixture hits 180°F, remove it from the heat and pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Whisk in the beer.
  5. Immediately put the medium bowl into an ice bath to cool it (this should feel familiar to homebrewers).
  6. When the mixture hits 70°F, remove it from the ice bath. Put Saran wrap on top and put the bowl in the fridge to cool overnight.
  7. When chilled, remove the bowl and pour the mixture into the spinning ice cream machine. The machine’s container should be completely frozen.
  8. It will take 20-30 minutes to make the ice cream, during which time you can add any ingredients you want to it.
  9. If you let it sit in the freezer for a while it will harden up.


If you make your own beer ice cream, let us know in the comments how it turned out and what beer you used.

Bowl of ice cream made with milk stout beer

About Billy Broas

He is the founder of The Homebrew Academy, a BJCP beer judge, and the homebrewing expert on the Rocky Mountain PBS television show Colorado Brews. He lives in the fine beer town of Denver, Colorado.

21 responses to “How to Make Beer Ice Cream”

  1. pa_jeff says:

    Wow – about a week ago I had Left Hand’s Nitro for the first time (I’m not a stout guy, but wanted to try a milk stout). Loved it. My wife tried it, and said “this would make a good ice cream”.

    Now this appears.

    Get out of my head. 😉 I look forward to trying this….

  2. Sheppy says:

    I had a beer float the other day with a home-brew and was thinking that maybe I should try to make some beer ice-cream. My kid has one of those ice cream balls you can get at REI ( .. maybe I should borrow it and make this recipe with my Stouticus.

  3. Jimmie the Mum says:

    This sounds interesting. Gotta try it.

  4. Ryan says:

    Left-hand Brewing Co. Nitro Milk Stout is amazing!!! One of my favs for sure

  5. Dr. B says:

    Great post Billy. Gotta give it a try!

  6. HBrew says:

    Awesome recipe Billy. Made this IC with Deception Cream Stout (from HBT) today. So good!! Have to make it again. My go to IC recipe.

  7. Kelly says:

    I found LH Nitro about a month before leaving for Afghanistan and loved it. Now I have to wait 7 more months to try this, cant wait.

  8. Stewart purinton says:

    I made this recipe using Samuel Adams blackberry witbier, I also folded in 3/4 a cup of fresh black berries…. Amazing!! Thank you!!

  9. Linda Fumarola says:

    Your beer ice cream looks fantastic but I have a Vitamix rather than an ice cream maker. I was wondering if you had a recipe for beer ice cream using a vitamix since I cannot find one anywhere on youtube or google or vitamix websites. Thanks, Linda:)

  10. KB says:

    I just made this recipe using a homebrewed vanilla porter. It is unbelievable!!! I actually used the beer before it was bottled conditioned, so I did not have to pour out the carbonation. I did add and additional tsp of vanilla just to punch it up a bit. This recipe is really delicious. I can’t wait to try it with the beer once it has fully conditioned. Thanks.

  11. Samantha says:

    I hope to have two in the works over the next few days…clown shoes chocolate sombrero (a Mexican chocolate stout), and a homebrewed peach wheat, with diced poached peaches added (last time,I just tossed in fresh diced peaches and ended up with little fruity iced balls in the ice cream…hopefully this helps the second time around!)

  12. Kim says:

    Made this over the weekend with some Breckenridge Vanilla Porter for my husband’s homebrew club meeting. I reduced the sugar a bit. It was a big hit, thanks!

  13. Jordache says:

    Overnight chilling right now and I used schlafly pumpkin ale. Batter tasted good but I will update with the results. I’m also thinking of finishing with fresh ground nutmeg…

  14. Jeffrey W. says:

    This is very close to the ice cream custard recipe I use. Don’t know why I haven’t replaced the milk with beer until now. I went with Founder’s Breakfast Stout. I left the carbination to try and add to the lightness. So good! I’ve seen some recipes where they cook the beer Into the custard, kinda defeats the purpose imo. Sometimes I add a few teaspoons of good bourbon to FBS. I wonder if that would do fine in the ice cream? A few dark chocolate chips on top and you really have a nice summer coffee treat that you don’t have to share with the kids.

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