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Charmery partners with Union Brewery for IPA-flavored ice cream

August 31, 2013

1236276_715884151770392_2135178788_nIt isn’t the ice cream itself that gets David Alima jazzed, it’s rubbing elbows with the other purveyors in the ‘hood who he considers “genius.” The Charmery co-owner’s most recent collaboration, with Jon Zerivitz, brewmaster at Union Craft Brewery, yielded an India Pale Ale-flavored ice cream with a tart aftertaste.

“I asked Jon about the flavor notes in Duckpin that we could play with,” says Alima, who ended up adding chocolate and a little bit of grapefruit to the ice cream base, along with the IPA, reduced to an alcohol-free syrup. It may take an IPA lover to appreciate the ice cream – or maybe the Charmery’s Duckpin flavor is like a gateway drug to the real thing.

Coffee addicts will swoon for another Charmery collaboration, this one ongoing, with nearby Spro. While the ice cream shop was under construction, Alima says he spent a lot of time at picking Spro owner Jay Caragay’s immense caffeineaddled brain about how to infuse real coffee flavor into ice cream. After all, Alima points out, “if you add an inch of cream to a great cup of coffee it just tastes like cream.”

The two tried making a concentrate, using a coffee-flavored liqueur (“it tasted like a white Russian,” Alima reports. “And we don’t have a liquor permit”), and finally settled on cryovac bags to let the flavors and oils of the beans slowly seep into the dairy mix over several days. The ice cream, which looks as innocent as vanilla, packs a caffeinated punch. The stuff tastes just like roasted beans – I kept expecting to chomp down on one – but goes down a lot smoother, and colder.

Look for future collaborations from the little ice cream store that could: The Charmery will introduce hot honey flavor, mimicking a signature condiment of the new pizzeria Paulie Gee’s. They’ve made mango-lime-hot sauce ice cream, modeled on a snack that Alima and co-owner Laura Alima (also his wife) used to buy on the streets in Washington D.C., and David’s working to craft a homemade marshmallow infused with smoke. Recipes in the making include sweet corn with Buppert’s Farm and salted caramel brownies with the Charm City Cook. Another Charmery goal: an ice cream truck.