The story of how Frozen Pints came to be is so simple it’s almost hard to believe, but co-founder Aly Moler says it’s true: There was a house party, someone brought an ice cream machine, and during the festivities a bottle of brew tipped over. An idea—craft beer ice cream—was born. Really. Moler and Ari Fleischer, fellow co-founder and business partner, had just stumbled upon possibly the most amazing “oops” moment ever. By June 2012, Frozen Pints was on the market.
Frozen Pints offers five year-round flavors whose alcohol content ranges from 1 to 3.1 percent and is therefore considered beer by Georgia law (anything over 0.5 percent counts, so have your ID ready). Newcomers should gauge their ice cream preferences the way they drink beer, as every flavor uses beer as its primary and most forward ingredient. I’ve had the Honey IPA, which tastes just like it sounds, a slightly bitter tang balanced with local wildflower honey. Fellow hop-heads may enjoy, but I prefer ice cream smooth and a little sweet—the creamy Malted Milk Chocolate Stout is more my jam.
Moler and I chatted to talk Frozen Pints’ news.
How did your new collaboration with Goose Island come about? They got in touch with us. They’d heard about our collaboration with Terrapin [the MooHoo Mint] and were looking for ways to introduce themselves to the local community and add something fun with their events. They have this thing called Migration Week where they take their “flock” of beers to different bars. We were part of Migration Week for Atlanta. It worked out perfectly with the Strawberry Sofie—we’ve wanted to do a strawberry flavor and we hadn’t done a Farmhouse / Saison style.
When can people get it? Strawberry Sofie is officially hitting stores this week. We’re in most of the growler stores, places like Hop City, Beer Growler, Ale Yeah!, and Whole Foods.
Just how do you make craft beer ice cream? We start with the beer, always. We find a beer that most embodies the style and flavor we’re going for. We might add a couple things to complement it, but nothing to mask the flavor. There is no added chocolate in the Malted Milk Chocolate Stout, and we didn’t add any peach flavoring to the Peach Lambic either. People are usually surprised to hear that.
I can’t imagine it was easy to navigate liquor laws and transporting a frozen product. That was actually one of the things Ari decided to tackle first—there were tons of legal considerations so we got with an attorney and did our own research. It’s mastering and marrying logistics for a frozen product and expertise with selling an alcohol-based product—two very antiquated industries that don’t really touch. We’ve been teaching distributors how to handle frozen products and teaching their reps how to do things. But our retailers are able to sell a totally new product that doesn’t compete with anything else they have right now.
Where do you spread the word about Frozen Pints? When we first came to market we definitely rode the craft beer scene. We’ve gradually started to expand—we’ll be at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival again this year, we’ll be at Bacon Fest, and the High Museum wine auction. People get excited when they hear about what we do—we spend a lot of time offering samples.
Do you always use a beer that’s already being retailed? Yes, usually.
But you guys keep quiet on which beers you use. Except when we are co-marketing—like with the Strawberry Sofie, or when we did the Terrapin MooHoo Mint flavor.
So many secrets! They are our secret recipes! Everyone always asks.
Now that you’ve got this frozen booze thing mastered, surely other fun things are on the horizon? We’re working on another line of products—that’s all I can say right now. But I can say we’re going to be selling at Turner Field this coming year. We launched our single serve container last year, so Frozen Pints will be available opening day. Look for our branded cart on the main concourse—it’ll be near a booth that sells craft beer.