We all have things that remind us vividly of childhood. When it comes to ice cream, for me it’s Neapolitan (Tiger is a very close second. Swirls of orange & liquorice, which I know sounds awful but I love!).
I think the main reason I have such a strong emotional connection to that heady mix of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla is because it was and still is one of my Dad’s favourites. He was somewhat of a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a hero for much of my early best online casinos life and I yearned for his approval. So anything my dad liked I liked. Another reason was that ice cream was a special treat for us, owing to my father’s quite humble salary as a newspaper reporter and photographer. So by its rarity and the pedestal I put my Dad on, Neapolitan was intricately woven into my childhood lore.
The years passed and I moved to the UK but never saw it in the freezer aisle here, thus assuming it hadn’t crossed the Atlantic. However, I was recently told that it had its time in the 80s and 90s but has fallen out of fashion. It’s still a very popular flavour in Canada where I grew up (hmm.. say anything about Canadian culture I wonder?).
So when I saw Northern Monk Neapolitan Pale (Ice Cream Pale Ale) in the fridge at much loved Hop Burns and Black I instinctively reached out and grabbed a can. As it’s not a common flavour to see I wondered quietly to myself if my American cousin Tyler Kylie who works NM had anything to do with this wondrous concept…
Then on the bus ride home, a popping candy juvenile thrill rose in me. Surely it was more than a coincidence that back home in my freezer sat Gianni’s Ices Neopolitan Ice Cream Wafers that I had found my local Aldi that a week or so before. “How amazing might the combination betwixt ice cream beer and ice cream be?!!” I couldn’t wait to try it out.
As we find in our adult lives it took longer than I hoped to test my delicious theory but one day I found the right time to taste them.
Normally here I would break down the merits of the beer, the ice cream, their paired nuances. But I felt this post deserved something a bit different.
I recognise as a commentator that I spend a lot of time seeking out and talking about life changing beers. Beers that make me want to write sonnets or start a cult or cry.
But I hope to never lose sight of the simple pleasure that can be found in beer. A kind of pure enjoyment that brings a smile to my face and refreshes my spirit.
Northern Monk Neapolitan Pale is that sort of beer and does exactly what it says on the can. Pours cloudy orange and is brewed to 6.2% with York Cocoa House milk chocolate, strawberries and vanilla pods. Subtle strawberry on the nose. It has a creamy mouth coating texture with notes of coffee, apricot and caramel. But most importantly it tastes of Neapolitan ice cream!
Gianni’s aren’t setting the world alight with their wafers but sat in the sun I swapped bites of ice cream for sips of beer and all critical thought flew from my mind. I returned to the days when life didn’t feel so complex, when eating an ice cream took up all of my attention, completely immersed in pure enjoyment.
This post is dedicated to my Dad and in the hope that one day we’ll sit and drink a Northern Monk Neopolitan Pale together.