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5 fantastic beer floats

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We love an out-of-the-box beer float, but sometimes, you’ve only got vanilla in the fridge. Here are five beers that turn the plainest ice cream into the most deliciously slurpable drinks.

Smoked porter: With ice cream in the mug, smoked porters go down quick. The cream tempers the sharpness of roast and smoke, and the combo’s ebony-and-ecru swirls taste as good as they look.

Fruit wheat ales: Vanilla runs floral smoothness through zippy wheat beers; the fruit’s a sweet bonus. Strawberry beers, packaged shandies, raspberry wheats… they’re all instant deserts waiting to happen (although right now, we’re kind’ve into orange).

Belgian pale ale: A couple scoops soften the yeast-hop bite of a hoppy Belgian-style brew, leaving only the yeast’s signature bright spice notes and a light, smooth booziness.

Chocolate stout: You’ve done it before; now do it again. We never tire of the melty-milkshake-like duo of vanilla plopped into a rich chocolate stout; your only worry should be which chocolate beer to choose.

Cider: You should absolutely sip the latest crop of artisanal American ciders neat, but add a few spoonfuls of ice cream on a sweltering day: Vanilla bolsters the sweetness and gives the juicy fruit some texture.

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