What is better than craft beer on a hot summer day? Craft beer ice cream, of course! Meet Ari, the owner and creative genius behind Frozen Pints. If you haven’t tried their Malted Chocolate Milk Stout or their Peach Lambic ice cream then you don’t know what you are missing. I highly suggest you stop by their booth this Saturday at the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest to snag a sample. If you’ve already grabbed your sample and are anxious to get your hands on a pint or ten check out their website listed below to find a retail location near you.
When did you become involved with craft beer?
In college it was mostly Natty Light and the Beast, so my real exposure didn’t come until after school. I still remember the first time I tried great beer though – it was at the German Bierfest at Atlantic Station. A friend “dragged” me to it, but one sip in and I haven’t looked back since. I had no idea beer could taste like that!
What started the idea for Frozen Pints?
I came up with the idea about two years ago, and it actually was an accident. We were having a barbecue, and a friend of mine happened to bring over an ice cream maker. We’re all craft beer geeks, so of course we had some solid brews around. One thing led to another, and my buddy actually spilled his beer right next to the machine. I was drinking one of my favorites at the time, I saw it happen, and it just kind of clicked – why not pour it in and see how it turns out? The first batch came out pretty tasty, so I picked it up as a hobby.
What criteria are considered when selecting a new craft beer to impart flavor to the ice cream?
Most important is that the beer has a unique, defining flavor to it – and preferably one that really nails the style. So our Brown Ale Chip not only gets a great roasted hazelnut flavor from the beer, it also has a dry finish and a subtle bitterness that are typical of a classic brown. We also try to ensure that we have a good variety of flavors, so we usually focus on styles that we haven’t done before.
Where all can the consumer find your product?
We’re in over 100 locations in Atlanta, Macon, and (very recently!) Athens. Easiest way is to look them up on our website at www.frozenpints.com.
Are there any Georgia Beer laws that have hindered you from producing your product?
There wasn’t anything in the law that specifically said we couldn’t do what we wanted to do, but there wasn’t anything saying that we could do it either. So we spent about a year and a half working at the federal, state and local levels to figure out how to classify ourselves. It was probably the most difficult part of getting the business started. But thankfully we now have an answer – same rules as any standard beer.
What is your favorite craft beer for the summer or your favorite Frozen Pint flavor and why?
Oh man, there are too many to name for favorite summer beers. I tend to like wheats and wits in the summer. Monday Night and Cherry Street locally have some great examples, and there’s always the classic Weihenstephaner. As far as our flavors go, it’s really tough to pick a favorite. I don’t have kids, but I imagine it’s a similar feeling – there are these things you’ve created and sent out into the world, and they’re all good in their own way.
Where do you think the beer market will be in 5 years and how do you see your product fitting in that market?
The great thing about the craft movement is that it’s really more than a trend, and it’s bigger than just beer. It’s about people wanting food and drink that are unique, delicious, hand-crafted and community-oriented. You see it showing up in every category in the grocery store – and liquor store for that matter – and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. Some people think there’s going to be a ton of consolidation in the craft beer world at some point, and they may be right. But the underlying movement towards better quality products is only getting larger. And that couldn’t be better for us – as craft beer grows, so will Frozen Pints.
Who is your beer idol?
I’ve always admired Sam Calagione – the founder of Dogfish Head. Starting a beer ice cream company means you’re going to be pushing an idea that seems crazy at first, and Sam was a pioneer of new ideas in the beer world. He used ingredients that no-one had considered before, did what he loved, and ended up with some amazing flavors as a result. We can only hope to achieve something similar.
What beer would you drink with your last meal?
Without question it’s the beer that’s in our Vanilla Bock…unfortunately, I can’t give it away. Though I guess if it’s my last meal I can let you in on the secret…
Cheers to summer time and delicious ice cream,