Beer flavored ice cream? Talk about a sweet assignment! I had to re-read the email to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. One of my New York Times editors had asked me to photograph the famed Portland ice cream scoop shop Salt & Straw for the dining section. Apparently, this ice cream store was offering a six-pack of flavored ice creams made with local beer and my assignment was to photograph one of the owners, Tyler Malek, making a batch of ice cream with beer, along with details of the ice cream and some photographs of one of their stores. Salt & Straw is a great Portland food story – two young people start a business as a food cart and it takes off into the stratosphere. I’m not at all surprised after meeting Tyler and his cousin, Kim, who as of today, July 1st, have three stores in the Portland area, each one with a seemingly permanent queue around the block. All of their ice cream is made by hand and is the best you’ll have without making it yourself. The flavors they offer are unusual: combinations like Goat Cheese with Habañero and Marionberry or Blue Cheese and Pear, both of which I’ve tried and can say without reservation that they are delicious! For the New York Times piece, it turns out that the beer flavored ice cream isn’t unique to our local scoop shop, but something that can be tasted in places like San Francisco, New York and Atlanta. This short and sweet piece by writer Andrew Spear will entice you to go out and try some. With temperatures hitting in the 90’s today here in Portland, I’ll be right there as well.