Selling ice cream in breweries

Joined May 4, 2005
Hi everyone! Its time to seriously consider doing my own thing. I just had a baby, AND during quarantine I've had a lot of time to think and dread going back to my job. It pays great but I just really hate it. Im grateful, but over it!

So, I need your help in identifying any problems to solve for my business plan. Food permits? Ice cream carts? Dishes? Disposal?

Would my brand work if I set up in different breweries at the same time? Should I have an outside cart?

Anyone in the Brewery business with opinions on this? Would you think ice cream would help your business?

I'm thinking it would be beneficial for both. People are starting to bring their families and kids to big industrial breweries, people are more likely to buy ice cream after drinking alcohol, some pairings would be fun, people might stay longer, drink more, etc...

I'm in Los Angeles/Orange county if that helps. Thanks in advance.
Joined Mar 1, 2017
This is one of those things where you would have to get out there are see what's really happening in breweries that have tours etc, especially in the age of Covid.

Inherently, ice cream and beer/ale really don't make good bed fellows. So, right off the bat you're potentially limiting your customer base to the non-drinkers (other than a DD otherwise, who makes it a point to go to a brewery to NOT drink?) and any kids not old enough to drink, if they're permitted on tours. Although some breweries may permit minors under 21 on some tours, many breweries will opt for the 21 and over as a matter of policy to protect their liability. So, whether or not the brewery is family friendly will likely vary from brewery to brewery within the same state. For example, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA, allows minors 12 and over on some tours. Other tours they offer are 21 and over etc.

Then there's the marketing and details of your operation. The first question the brewery management is going to ask themselves "is having your ice cream worth it?" Can you increase traffic/sales at their brewery? If so, how would you prove it to them? The novelty of selling ice cream at a brewery by itself probably wont be enough. The brewery will want to see some sort of offer of proof that having your ice cream sales in their brewery is worth the price of admission. This isn't even getting into any permits, insurance, leases, legal agreements with the brewery, inventory, equipment, employees etc.

Good luck. :)
Joined Sep 17, 2018
I'm interested in the line of thought that brought you to this idea. I could see it maybe working if you were showcasing ice creams made from the beers at the actual brewery, but just having an ice cream cart at a brewery isn't something I think is wholesale, more niche. I'm sure there are family friendly breweries but as a family man myself this is not the first place I think of to bring my family. Secondly, if I was there and having some craft beer I would want some food to compliment that, which is savory. There's a reason bars put out salty fatty foods for happy hour and not sweets.
Joined Jul 7, 2020
Are you thinking of having an ice cream bike parked outside of a brewery and selling to people who are given a tour of the brewery

I not quite sure many people would go for an ice cream though


Staff member
Joined Apr 22, 2020
As a person who loves going to breweries and has been to lots of them all over the country, and as someone who loves ice cream, I love the idea!

I've seen all sorts of different types of food trucks and food stands at different breweries, many of which have been dessert trucks, and they always seem to be busy.

I think most people would like the idea of getting ice cream, even before having a pint or two.

Also combine the fact that breweries popularity and foot traffic only go up during the periods of nice summer weather, and with that, so does the demand for ice cream. (Please keep in mind that I ignoring the current impact of COVID).

Good luck!
Joined May 4, 2005
I don't mean the breweries that are only open for tours. What we have here on the west coast are microbreweries that are usually set up in a large industrial warehouse which is then opened up to the public to buy pints of beer and hang out. People bring their kids. They have outdoor and indoor areas and almost always a food truck outside. It's a whole thing. I'd like to start selling from a cart outside and then make my way inside, integrating my brand and ice cream. Collaborating with beers or complimenting flavors. I love beer and ice cream together. I can't help but relax and be happy when I have the 2 of them together. My other idea was to just open a place that sells both.
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