Beer ice cream is now officially legal in New York state and available just in time for summer

12 July, 2018

Wine slushies just got a new challenger because for the first time you can now get legal beer ice cream in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday signed a bill that adds ice cream made with beer and hard cider to the existing 10-year-old law that legalized wine ice cream.

The first legal batches are coming from Gilligan's Island, an ice cream stand and diner in Sherburne, Chenango County which lobbied lawmakers to make the change.

Beer ice cream made by Gilligan's is currently available in the tap room at Good Nature Farm Brewery in Hamilton, one of the breweries that helped develop it. (Gilligan's doesn't brew its own beer).

It should also be available within the next week at the Gilligan's stand, 64 N. Main St. in Sherburne, said Andy Lagoe, who owns Gilligan's with his brother, Mike.

Later this summer, it will likely be offered during the Syracuse Nationals car show at the New York State Fairgrounds (July 20-22)and definitely at the State Fair (Aug. 22-Sept. 3), Andy Lagoe said.

To develop the beer ice cream flavors, the Lagoe brothers have been working with brewmaster Micheal  Coons at the Copper Turret Restaurant & Brewhouse in Morrisville. That's a teaching brewery affiliated with Morrisville State College.

"When you bite into it, we want you to know it's beer," Andy Lagoe said in a recent interview. "We know the science of ice cream, but we were looking for the science of blending the right beer flavors into the ice cream. Micheal and Morrisville have been very helpful with that."

Gilligan's has developed three flavors so far: Ice Cream Ale, made with a dark malty ale from the Copper Turret; Bavarian Chocolate;  and  Double Buzz, made with coffee.

Ice cream made with wine became legal 10 years ago, after a lobbying effort that started with Mercer's Ice Cream in Boonville, Oneida County. Mercer's has now became well known and widely available.

Gilligan's has been making wine ice cream of its own (using wine from Owera Vineyards), and earlier this summer wanted to add the beer ice cream to its offerings at a stand at the Taste of Syracuse.  That's when they discovered existing New York law didn't allow it.

The new law simply adds the words "beer" and "hard cider" to the list of legal alcohol beverages that can be added to ice cream.

"It's going to be a lot of fun to finally get this out there," he said. "People have been very curious about it."

The new law was sponsored in the state Senate Sen. James Seward, a Republican from Otsego County and in the  Assembly by Bill Magee, a Madison  County Democrat. 

In samplings and taste tests, the Lagoes have found that even people who are unsure at first are pleasantly surprised.

"The reaction has been very positive," he said.

But you do need to be 21 to try it.

[Via New York Upstate]