No need to check the date again while reading this — it’s not April 1st and we promise this post isn’t a joke. Fudgie the Whale, the beloved icon for Carvel ice cream, has his own beer.
If you haven’t already tried it, the brew is described as a creamy stout made with hints of those famous Crunchies found in Fudgie’s ice cream cakes. Obviously, we had some questions about how this beer is made, where one can buy a case, and how Fudgie himself was able to balance his role as a full-time ice cream mascot with an adult beverage side hustle. Luckily, Carvel and their partner Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, were able to give us the inside scoop into the “Fudgie the Beer” collaboration.
The conversation all started, appropriately enough, around Father’s Day. Carvel fans may recall that founder Tom Carvel was famous for his signature novelty ice cream cakes, but he could never quite pull off making the perfect fish-shaped cake that he wanted for the holiday. He settled for a whale mold instead and Fudgie, loaded with ice cream, fudge, and Crunchies, was born in 1977. More than 40 years have passed since his debut, and it’s still tradition to order Fudgie the Whale cakes on Father’s Day.
Scott Colwell, President of Carvel, decided it was time for something different this year. Dads love Fudgie — that’s a given. They also love beer, but a really great, handcrafted beer. “We started imagining how amazing it would be if the two came together to make an incredible tasting brew.”
Enter Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, an award-winning craft brewery which Colwell himself describes as having “a reputation for awesome beers.” Colwell approached the brewery with the pitch and they loved it, setting to work immediately on the collaboration.
How does one make this kind of brew? According to Scott Vaccaro, Founder and Brewmaster at Captain Lawrence Brewery, it was made quite similarly to how they would brew a stout. “What makes it is the addition of Carvel’s Signature Chocolate Crunchies — added to the mash with all the grain to soak so we can extract the sugars, as well as the color and flavor.”
Several amounts of Carvel chocolate ice cream and fudge were also added into the kettle to layer in the chocolate flavors, adding to the beer’s mouthfeel. The end result? They created a creamy stout that could only be given one name — Fudgie the Beer.
For the most part, brand mascots tend to stay in their designated lanes. You wouldn’t see the Pillsbury Doughboy selling vegetables or the Kool-Aid Man switching to coffee. How was Fudgie, famous for attracting fans of all ages with ice cream, able to gracefully transition over to beer? Colwell says that it all comes back to Fudgie’s creation and his cake’s message “For a Whale of a Dad” that holds a special place in the hearts of many fathers. Combine the iconic cake with the newly iconic brew and you had the perfect pairing of dads’ passions.
It also helps that Fudgie is also pretty cute. “Fudgie is fun and friendly enough to be revered for his nostalgia, but also adapt to a great tasting beer. Any way you look at him, Fudgie represents pure joy.” Colwell says.
Fudgie the Beer is, sadly, a limited time only release and even sold out the same day it debuted. Vaccaro and his team at Captain Lawrence have been overwhelmed by the public’s response to Fudgie the Beer. They even released a second batch in their beer hall on June 15th, the only place where Fudgie the Beer is (most likely “was” at this point) available to purchase. While Vaccaro can’t say when the next 4-packs of Fudgie the Beer will be available for fans, he has hinted that the collaboration may happen a few more times per year.
Bottoms up to that news. Cheers to Carvel, Captain Lawrence, and Fudgie the Beer!