Beer Floats

Beer’s not just for breakfast anymore. It’s for dessert, too.

What: Beer float Where: The Pike Pub & Brewery, 1415 First Ave., 622-6044. Official tasting notes: I discovered this strange concoction recently on a bar menu. Then I learned that a beer float is not such a rare find. At least two local pubs serve up the alcohol-laden dessert, though in slightly different interpretations. The Pike Pub makes two kinds of beer floats: one with its XXXXX Stout and another with Lindemans raspberry lambic. Each is served in a pint glass, topped with your choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. If that sounds like too much, both are also available in schooners (schooners a re the smaller, hourglass-shaped glasses that old-world Scotsmen will tell you women drink.) My friends and I tried the Pike Place stout topped with a scoop of chocolate (schooner, $3.50) and the Framboise float with vanilla (pint, $4.50). The deep, molassesy stout stood up well to the chocolate ice cream, and despite my hesitations, paired rather nicely. Sweeter—and hardly polluted by the telltale flavor of alcohol—the lambic was the tastier of the two, making for a creamy, slightly tart dessert with a hidden kick. It's the float we fought over, though in the end we had no problem slurping up both. Insider tip: Elliott Bay Brewing Company, which has locations in West Seattle and Burien, offers just one kind of beer float. It's made with the brewery's No Doubt Stout and topped with its own malt ice cream, crafted using spent grains from the brewing process.

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