Best of Both Worlds

Staff Pick

People say Missoula boasts the best of both worlds—nature and culture, hipsters and ranchers, hot summers and snowy winters. But how about when Missoula's favorite ice cream parlor teams up with the city's most beloved brewery? Yes, the good folks at the Big Dipper have created Cold Smoke ice cream in honor of the Kettlehouse's popular scotch ale.

Cold Smoke ice cream is the antidote to indulgent Missoulians' indecision. And it's damn good—malty, a little nutty, subtle, yet distinctly Cold Smoke. For us, the flavor comes on strongest in the aftertaste, just like the much-loved beer.

The Big Dipper actually makes the ice cream from reduced wort—beer without hops and before fermentation—which explains the malty taste. But the process is labor intensive, so Cold Smoke isn't always available. When it is stocked—like a couple weeks ago, when Big Dipper ice cream maestro Bryan Hickey decided to brew a batch—it sells out fast. Again, just like the beer.

Next time you're lucky enough to score a pint, we offer a simple suggestion: Try a Cold Smoke float. Two scoops in a beer mug, with a pour of the actual suds over the top, and you've created a culinary celebration distinct to our neighborhood.

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