Frozen beer popsicles get icy

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For some reason, when a beer is left in the freezer too long and freezes, its bound for the trash can. Even when it thaws it just doesnt have that crisp beer taste anymore.

Rusticos on the north end of Old Town seem to have found the right formula for frozen beer in their Hopsicle, a frozen Popsicle made with a lambic Belgian fruit-style ale.

The frozen hopsicles are hot though, attracting attention from both the beer aficionado crowd to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, who think the frozen treats are not the innocent Popsicle theyre made out to be.

According to ABC officials, the hopsicles are violating the rule that says that beer must be sold in its original container, known as code 3 VAC-40-40.

According to Rustico chef Frank Morales, the hopsicle isnt a beverage item, its a food item, so it doesnt fall under the ABC law. Morales compares it to going to a French restaurant and ordering a wine and butter sauce. Its not the alcohol content that makes it a delicacy.

Nonetheless, an ABC special agent has visited the restaurant, according to ABC spokesperson Kristy Smith, who responded by email. When an ABC law comes into question, restaurant owners do have the option of writing the ABC and asking for exemption. Morales said they are in the process of doing that, but until they seek and are granted permission from ABC, the beer pops are illegal, wrote Smith.

As the summer presses on, the hopsicles continue to be a hit at Rusticos, though. The demand has been pretty strong, said Morales.

Morales said their invention stems from the need to drink beer as cold as possible. The hopsicle is the creation of Morales and his beer director Greg Engert, who looked at their selection of more than 200 kinds of beers and developed this grown-up dessert. Hopsicles are only sold to patrons who are at least 21 years old. The most important part is you start with an incredible beer. We take what these brew masters have done and we further enhance it, Morales said.

The hopsicles sell for $5 and come in three flavors Raspbeer-y, made with St. Louis Framboise; Plum, made with Chapeau Mirabelle; and Fudgesicle, made with chocolatey Kalamazoo Stout. Other flavors available on a rotating basis include a banana and apple flavored hopsicle.

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