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Beer, Berries and Ice Cream by Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson Photographer: Judy Pavlik
Ginger Johnson of WEB  Photo:  Judy Pavlik

Ginger Johnson of WEB
Photo: Judy Pavlik

As a big experimenter of beer & beverages with foods, today’s a great day to talk about creativity of ingredients. With no further delay…

1. Beer: It’s already a delicious beverage. And it’s an equally delicious and accommodating ingredient for fresh prep and cooking.

  • Fresh: Use it in a beerinade (we covered that before here), cold soup (hello chili beer in gazpacho!), and in simple dressings for salads all year round.
  • Cooking: Wow – where to even start…I love to use Stouts in my chocolate baking’s (cake, brownies), Reds for roasting and chili, and Pilsners in savory muffins.

Ginger Johnson2. Berries: As I write this, there’s a just picked jumble of strawberries in my fridge, the first from my garden. Blueberries – be on the look out! I’m coming your way when I see you.

  • Fresh: Berries have a nice acid to them so they are terrific in smoothies with mellow yogurt, sprinkled generously on a spinach and goat cheese salad, and taking on a road trip for snacks.
  • Cooking: What’s not to love in berry-ing up baked goods of all sorts with a handful tossed in, throw into a warm pasta salad with parmesan cheese, and making a classic jam (preserved or freezer).

3. Ice Cream: Being a long time maker of my own ice cream (it’s easier than you may think), I’m a big fan of fresh soft homemade ice cream.

  • Fresh: Right out of the canister – mine’s a big aluminum cylinder that turns round and round in a wooden bucket, topped with whatever you have in season. I’d even suggest trying savory toppings like a dash of chili pepper or basil.
  • Cooking: Suffice it to say that ice cream is very versatile in making various dishes, being mindful of the cold factor. Ice cream pies made with blueberries and beer, creative floats with a drizzle of reduced stout and blueberries, and even using ice cream as a topper on a dish with scallops would be yummy.

Ginger JohnsonThe whole idea I want to share is creativity. It’ll be a domino you tip – and will end up generating more “well, that worked, what if I try this?!” ideas and flavors for you and your friends.

Cheers to beer, blueberries and home made ice cream.  Now, off I go to find my Grandma’s ice cream recipe….


I love to use Stouts in my chocolate baking’s (cake, brownies), Reds for roasting and chili, and Pilsners in savory muffins.

Pairing Idea today: Simmer a flavorful Stout in a shallow saucepan with fresh blue berries, perhaps 1 cup of beer with one cup of berries. Taste as you go, adding a dash of sugar if needed. Chances are good that the malty character of the stout will caramelize and you won’t need it. Drizzle this reduction on salads, seafood, ice cream, and a heaping bowl of fresh berries.

Beer suggestion: Elliot Bay’s No Doubt Stout – since it’s made with oatmeal, you get an extra lushness in the beer than really translates well to cooking.

Plan Ahead: The Washington Brewers Fest is coming up Father’s Day weekend, held in the lovely Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA. Two of the 3 days of the fest are family friendly. Come and find out bright orange Women Enjoying Beer Tent and say hello!

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at or

About Basil & Salt Magazine (827 Articles)
Basil & Salt Magazine is filled with recipes, cocktails, wine, beer and travel recommendations, focusing on the enjoyment of the gourmet lifestyle. Our first issue will print and be distributed in September of this year. ~Please join us and poke the 'subscribe' button on the menu to receive exclusive content found only on our printed pages.

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