Oatmeal stout with oatmeal cookie dough gelato sounds like every savory beer lovers dream come true. The recently opened gelato shop in town, Sammy Qâ€™s Gelatoland, on the corner of Laporte and College avenues, offers a handful of unique beer gelatos that even the under-21 crowd can hop over to and try.
According to the staff at Sammy Qâ€™s, the gelato is made with real beer, not just beer flavoring. Sound like a bunch of hot air? Well actually, thereâ€™s less. One of the biggest differences between beer gelato, or gelato in general, and regular ice cream, is the air content.
â€œGelato is similar to ice cream, but it has less air whipped into it, so itâ€™s richer, thicker and creamier,â€ said Kelsey Scott, a junior at Colorado State University who works at Sammy Qâ€™s.
Sammy Qâ€™s doesnâ€™t make any of their gelato in-house; rather they snag their custom orders from Palazzoloâ€™s Gelato in Fennville, Mich. Pete Palazzolo, creator of Palazzolo Gelato, confirms Scottâ€™s reasoning.
â€œMost American brands of bulk ice cream and consumer-packed ice cream range from 60 percent to 120 percent overrun,â€ said Palazzolo in his online blog. â€œOverrun is the trade term for the amount of air whipped into the product. One hundred percent overrun is 50 percent air.â€
That means when you buy gelato, youâ€™re really getting more for your money because of its density. So what makes beer gelato different than regular ice cream?
â€œGelato should be under 20 percent overrun and keeping with tradition, it should be flavored from actual ingredients like strawberries or nuts, not from flavorings,â€ said Palazzolo in his blog. â€œAs the gelato industry grows, we are seeing many misconceptions. One is that gelato is fat-free. I find this one really silly since it is after all, frozen dairy.â€
Owner of Sammy Qâ€™s, Kim Stiner, agreed that while beer gelato may not be healthier than regular ice cream, it offers those who enjoy it a true beer experience.
â€œI think that a lot of people in this day and age all want to indulge and have their treats,â€ said Stiner. â€œIf they can choose real ingredients over fake, then why not? This gelato doesnâ€™t use any mixes, PreGels or preservatives. We only use fresh ingredients.â€
However, beer lovers beware â€“ Sammy Qâ€™s doesnâ€™t offer their coveted beer gelato on a regular basis. With 48 flavors on any given day, they like to give out what people are asking for most, so youâ€™ll have to grab it while itâ€™s hot â€“ or cold for that matter.
â€œWhen people come in, theyâ€™re really excited about it,â€ said Katherine Metoyer, CSU junior who also works at Sammy Qâ€™s. â€œBut no one has come in and asked for Fat Tire or anything.â€