During the lighthearted LA Beer Week festivities there was a more serious event staged. For the fourth year teams of some of LA’s best brewers and most accomplished chefs and confectioners were pitted in a battle that only the most creative and dedicated collaborators could be victorious: the Beer Float Showdown! Beer of Tomorrow was at Golden Road Brewing to witness the epic throw-down and sample the creamy concoctions.
The 4th Annual Food GPS Beer Float Showdown was not about your daddy’s ice cream and beer combination. These were no Guinness-and-vanilla ice cream confections; this was LA’s best beers being topped with some of the most creative and original ice cream, gelato, and sorbet that our city has to offer.
Five teams each designed a beer float that would showcase the interplay between the brewer’s beer and the chef’s frozen treat. Each attendee received a punch-card good for a float from each team, and they could then vote for their favorite based on Originality, Presentation, and Taste.
The competition was as heated as the afternoon, and the teams and their floats were:
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing + Tony DiSalvo & Chris Crary from Whist
Golden Road Brewing + Josh Graves & Paul Sanguinetti from Ray’s & Stark Bar and C+M
El Segundo Brewing Co + Shiho Yoshikawa from Sweet Rose Creamery
Strand Brewing Co +Christian Page & Hourie Sahakian from Short Order & Short Cake
Eagle Rock Brewery + Andrew Guerrero & Jan Purdy from Maximiliano and The Oinkster
All five of the floats were excellent, from the classic feel of the Golden Road offering to the avant-garde combination from El Segundo Brewing (the simcoe sorbet was out-of-this-world), but there could only be one collaboration named “champion.” At least that was the plan. The final voting resulted in the first ever LA Beer Float Showdown tie with both newcomers Strand Brewing and reigning champions Eagle Rock Brewing getting the most votes.
In lieu of a “float-off” the organizers declared that the two teams would be co-champions, and after that much creative craft beer and small-batch ice cream everyone was a winner!
The official Beer of Tomorrow vote was cast by site co-founder Julie for Eagle Rock Brewing’s masterpiece (though I personally think that the originality and off-centered take by El Segundo Brewing and Sweet Rose Creamery was the best of the bunch.)
Beyond the competition the afternoon of sipping on craft beer and ice cream floats was one of the unexpected highlights of LA Beer Week for us! The Pub at Golden Road’s new out-door “bier garten” area was a perfect venue for the event that gave beer fans a great opportunity to meet and chat with the people behind the beer and the ice cream. Everyone was having fun, and we were really inspired by the floats to come up with some of our own combinations that go beyond a simple stout + vanilla ice cream beer float.
Check out more pictures of the event in the gallery below, and let us know what your favorite float combination is!