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Southern Tier Pumpking Craft Beer Ice Cream I was browsing the internet for craft beer news and came across this recipe over at craftbeer.com, changing a Williams-Sonoma pumpkin ice cream recipe into a pumpkin beer   recipe.  I was intrigued and decided to give it a whirl, using the Southern Tier Pumpking as a star ingredient.  The Pumpking has sweeter notes than other Pumpkin flavored craft beers, but also has great flavor and spice that would only enhance the recipe.  Having 9% alcohol content in an ice cream can’t hurt much either.

The recipe at craftbeer.com does not call for the ginger snaps, nor the nutmeg and cinnamon so this is loosely based on their recipe, but mirrors the Williams-Sonoma recipe much more closely, aside from the beer of course.

In the future, I plan to do this with other flavors of beer, perhaps a nice Chocolate Stout ice cream with espresso beans, or Espresso ice cream with chocolate chips.  The possibilities are endless.


  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup of Pumpkin Beer (Recommended: Southern Tier Pumking)
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of crushed Ginger Snap cookies


In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. It is imperative to temper the egg mixture as to not cook the yolks. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Southern Tier Pumpking Ice Cream

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool. Whisk the pumpkin mixture and ¾ cup of Pumpkin beer into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the crushed ginger snaps in the last 5 minutes of churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.

And there you have it, craft beer in an ice cream.  We served this as a celebratory dessert after the home town Buffalo Bills earned a victory over the vaunted New England Patriots Sunday.  If a Bills victory wasn’t enough, eating a Pumpking flavored ice cream made for a terrific Sunday.

Southern Tier Pumpking Craft Beer Ice CreamThe ice cream had a very creamy, custard texture.  It smelled of pumpkin and spice, and you could certainly pick up the Pumpking.  The ice cream tasted just as you would think given the ingredients.  You could definitely pick up the alcohol from the Pumpking, as it was simply folded in and not cooked off in the process.  Excellent spice notes from the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, along with the pumpkin puree.  The ginger snaps offered more excellent flavor but really stood out to give the ice cream more texture.  There’s nothing better than a little crunch in your ice cream.


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Microbrew Review of the Day

I have held out on this review for a little bit, but have referenced this craft beer in previous posts.  I came across the Southern Tier Imperial Pumking about three years ago, captivated by the angry pumpkin on the bottle, and the fact that it was from Southern Tier Brewing,  a two hour drive from my home in Buffalo, NY who has put out some other stellar microbrews like the Unearthly Imperial IPA, but I digress.   When we first came across the “King”, some of my friends and I thought this was such an outstanding Fall craft beer that we went in on a case when the Pumpking was flying off of the shelves at Consumers Beverage.

Craft beer has had a serious increase in availability since then, and I think the popularity of the Pumking caused Southern Tier Brewing to increase production, fine by us.  With fall seasonal craft beer being available early, I first saw the Pumking in late August at Wegmans, a local grocery store.  I sent out a few messages to fellow “King” lovers and grabbed a bottle for later consumption.  I knew this would be a review on this site, and I also know that one of our contributors, johnpaul, will have strong opinions on this review.

Craft Beer Review - Southern Tier Imperial Pumpkin

Style – Pumpkin Ale

ABV – 8.6%

Appearance –   This craft beer pours an amber color, with a slight white lacy head that dissipates quickly.

Smell – The smell of this microbrew is amazing for the nose.  It truly  is the epitome of pumpkin pie, the toasty pumpkin, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the all spice are just amazing.  It smells so good i wish I could eat it, but drinking it will have to suffice.

Taste –   The beer is a little sweet compared to other Pumpkin Ale’s but I do not find it overly sweet at all.  Much like the nose of this craft beer, the taste is very much like a pumpkin pie.  The high alcohol content is well hidden by the spice and sweetness.  If I took a well crafted pumpkin pie and decided to drink it right out of the blender, it would taste like this.  The fact that it has alcohol in it makes it all the better.

Overall – As I have stated, this beer is in my top 5 all time, it’s a shame that it only comes around once a season but the scarcity of this item also helps its allure.  I tend to buy a few bottles to keep in the cellar for later in the year when the stores run out, but it is far too tempting to walk downstairs on a nice October night when Halloween is around the corner and enjoy this craft beer.  Absolutely 5 stars in my book.

So there it is, my review of the Southern Tier Imperial Pumking, one of my top 5 favorite microbrews.  Contributor johnpaul strongly disagrees with my take on this succulent microbrew, mostly because it is far too sweet for his liking.  The fact that Blue Monk in Buffalo, NY had a company make a gelato does tend to help his argument.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this craft beer or any others which we have reviewed.


I wandered into the craft beer section of my local Wegmans and noticed the addition of a fall seasonal beer rack.  The Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumpking Double Imperial is one of all time favorite beers, not just Fall beers, so I decided to give their Harvest ale a go for a beer review.

Average Drinker - Southern Tier Brewing Co. - Harvest Ale

Style – English Extra Special Bitter

ABV – 6.7%

Appearance – Pours a beautiful harvest gold color, which screams fall seasonal craft beer.  This beer has a large white head which slowly dissipated, leaving behind a lacy white residue on the glass.

Smell – This beer contains two types of hops, brewed with one and dry hopped for even more of a hoppy kick and your nose certainly picks up this hoppy flavor.  Some citrus and floral notes can be picked up in the back, though the hops are dominant.

Taste – If you like hop filled beers, this ones for you.  The bitter hops are the star of this seasonal beer, not as much as they overpower the nose but they are front and center on your palette.  The finish is bready, with a little bit of sweetness.

Overall – Very drinkable beer if you love hops as I do.  Even though the hops are dominant, it is still light and refreshing where you can still enjoy a couple of these without having to wash your mouth out from the bitterness.

4 out of 5 stars for me, not as good as their Pumpking which will be up for review when it hits stores but a solid seasonal craft beer from Southern Tier Brewing Company.

Share your thoughts on this beer and others.

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