While he ate his sandwich and sipped his beer, a bit of conversation came back to him. Blaisedell, the poet, had said to him, “You love beer so much. I’ll bet some day you’ll go in and order a beer milkshake.” It was a simple piece of foolery but it had bothered Doc ever since. He wondered what a beer milk shake would taste like. The idea gagged him but he couldn’t let it alone. It cropped up every time he had a glass of beer. Would it curdle the milk? Would you add sugar? It was like shrimp ice cream. Once the thing got into your head you couldn’t forget it.
-Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
I’ve learnt one fact over the past few years.
There is a beer out there for everyone.
Bold statement, but it’s true. It’s like chocolate. You might not be a ‘simple white chocolate bar from the grocery store’ person, but follow your nose to a single sourced dark chocolate truffle infused with chilli and cinnamon, and you might be singing another tune.
Beer is the same.
I realised this when The BFG took me to a bar and ordered a Pêche Lambic. It was like drinking peach juice, but better. And it was heaven.
Since then, trying tasting trays at breweries has become a game for me. I’ve learnt I have a soft spot for a particular pumpkin ale, and that I tend to enjoy smooth smoky caramel-y stouts (all in moderation. Most of these beers you just wouldn’t scull back a few pints).
For a beer milkshake, a good quality stout should be your starting point. I had a 500ml bottle of Paddy’s Tout (yes, spelt correctly) from Wychwood Brewery on the shelf for this.
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream
- ¼ cup chocolate syrup (I used Hershey’s. I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am that they sell it here.)
- just over 1 cup of chocolate ice cream (which ever you choose, make sure it's the best you can get. There's no point putting a good stout with a crummy quality ice cream)
- ¾ cup stout
- ¼ cup milk
- Blend it all together, taste, add to suit your taste preferences (want more beer taste, add more, want less beer taste, add more milk). Serve.