Focus, Food Service & Agriculture, and Small Business & Startups

Beer + ice cream = Frosty Pints

Local couple makes ice cream using Michigan dairy and Michigan craft beer.

April 19, 2013
| By Pat Evans |
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Beer+Ice Cream
The lineup includes various ice creams coupled with beers from local breweries. Courtesy Frosty Pints

(As seen on WZZM TV 13) Laura and Andrew Pickard think beer and ice cream are a match made in heaven. The couple has started a small-batch creamery named Frosty Pints, making ice cream using local craft beer for flavor.

"It combines my two favorite foods: ice cream and beer," Laura Pickard said. "Everyone we talk to loves the idea of beer and ice cream."

The business started a few years ago when Andrew bought Laura an ice-cream maker for Christmas.

"It wasn't self-motivated at all," he said. She tried making a stout ice cream and soon realized she could make ice cream with nearly any beer.

The ice cream is made with just enough beer to taste it — about a pint per gallon of ice cream.

The couple noted that there are several artisan creameries popping up across town, including Furniture City Creamery, which also is experimenting with beer ice creams.

Frosty Pints will start off small, setting up shop in a cart at Fulton Street Farmers Market and various events, including beer festivals. The Pickards hope to be able to expand the business by the end of the summer, but the licensing process for wholesale is long and arduous.

Still, the company has come a long way. “It's a hobby that's turned into more," said Laura, who works in marketing at Wolverine Worldwide.

Neither has a food science background, but Andrew works at Cargill Kitchen Solutions and has plenty of friends who can help.

The ice cream will sell for between $3 and $4 for a cone, comparable to other premium ice creams. The company's "starting lineup" will include S’Mores made with Perrin Brewing Co.’s Chocolate Milk Stout; a coffee ice cream made with Founders Breakfast Stout; a Grapefruit Double IPA sorbet; Vanilla Java Porter ice cream; and one using Mitten Brewing Co.'s Peanuts and Crackerjack Porter, which Laura calls her best yet. The couple said there will be a new beer flavor every week, including seasonal beers.

The idea for Frosty Pints did not receive StartGarden funding last June, but the Pickards didn’t lose steam and said they are happy with how Grand Rapids helps small businesses get started.

“Grand Rapids is just at a point where everyone here is really excited and supportive of entrepreneurs," Laura said.

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