behind the bardrinksentertainingFood & Drinkkristina gillrecipes

behind the bar: erin gleeson’s beer float

by Kristina Gill

Since its inception, Behind the Bar has generally been dedicated to cocktails. This week, however, I thought I would shake things up just a tiny itty bitty bit by proposing something that probably isn’t on many, if any, bar menus today. Food photographer and illustrator Erin Gleeson has shared her recipe for a Beer Float. I loved ice cream floats when I was younger, especially root beer, but had completely forgotten about floats until Erin brought up this idea. I thought it was a nice grown-up twist on a childhood favorite. — Kristina

About Erin: For many years, Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast worked as a food photographer in New York City, shooting for cookbooks, magazines, top chefs and restaurants, the New York Times dining section and the James Beard Foundation. She also has an MFA in photography and taught photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In the summer of 2011, her husband’s new job prompted a move to northern California (near San Francisco) where they found a lovely cabin in the woods. Inspired by local, seasonal ingredients, she creates “photographic recipe illustrations” that are mostly vegetarian and laid out visually. She hopes to inspire healthy meals anyone can make — dishes that are easy enough to prepare after a long day at work yet impressive enough for a party. For more of Erin’s food ideas, check out her blog.

See Erin’s recipe after the jump . . .

The Beer Float
For 4 beer floats, you’ll need:

  • 1 pint of dark beer (like a chocolate stout)
  • 1 small tub of chocolate ice cream
  • 1 container of raspberries


Put a couple scoops of ice cream in each glass. Pour beer over ice cream. Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve with a spoon and a straw. Enjoy!

Why Erin Loves This Recipe

This Beer Float recipe is a fun and unique treat for a dinner party (or just for a quiet night at home!). It’s also super easy to throw together at the end of a meal when you have guests over. It covers the after-dinner drink and the dessert, all in one! Any kind of dark beer will work, but a chocolate stout is ideal. I used a local brew, Full Boar Scotch Ale, from Devil’s Canyon Brewery near San Francisco, which as the bottle says, really does have “hints of caramel and chocolate.” You could even get a few kinds of beer and have guests create their own floats at the table. I put three raspberries on a toothpick as a garnish (which you can prepare ahead of time). I love the chocolate/raspberry combo, but instead you could try coffee ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans as a garnish or vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream.

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