The Family Dog in Orono, Maine has become one of my favorite spots to grab a bite to eat, there aren’t any other places around to get a gourmet hot dog and I’ve recently discovered they lay down a serious brunch. It’s not uncommon to find me and the family there, my son absolutely loves the fruit plate. It was on one of these brunch trips, Mother’s Day I think, that I actually took notice of the menu over their ice cream bar and saw the “Demon Stout Float.” I didn’t need any explanation, I knew exactly what this was, I didn’t know if it would be the right addition to brunch on Mother’s Day but I knew I’d be back for one.
The Demon Stout Float is two scoops of Shain’s of Maine chocolate ice cream floating in Black Bear Microbrewery Demon Stout; it’s like the big kids version of a root beer float. I love the fact that The Family Dog is using a locally produced beer in their float, and when I say local I mean local, you can see the brewery from the restaurant. The demon stout is rich and malty with notes of coffee and bitter chocolate, the ice cream adds a creamy, textured mouthfeel and bumps up the chocolate flavors but the beer stands its ground. I know a lot of people who would say this is just ruining a perfectly good beer but really I don’t think the ice cream hurts the beer but the beer improves the ice cream. I found the float to be very enjoyable and cooling on a hot afternoon, although I will say it’s kind of odd drinking a beer through a big straw.
Next time it’s hot out take a ride to Orono and visit The Family Dog, the food is excellent, the beer is cold, there is ice cream for the kids and Demon Stout Floats for the adults and why not stop at the Black Bear Microbrewery and pick up a growler to take home. I also found out that when the Black Bear’s summer seasonal, Blueberry Ale comes out they will be adding a new float to the menu that uses the Blueberry Ale and Shain’s of Maine blueberry ice cream, I guess I’ll have to make a trip back over and try that one, I’ll letcha know how it is.