Ian Clark might be the chef behind Heifer and the Hen, east Boulder’s just-opened cow-to-cone ice cream shop, but the idea originated with his wife, Bryce. When Clark was opening Bru Handbuilt Ales & Eats (his brewpub next door) in 2013, the space was vacant and Bryce loosely suggested taking it over. Fast forward nearly three years, and the space became vacant again. “Bryce circled back to the ice cream idea,” Ian says. The shop opened on April 15 with a float bar (complete with swings suspended from ceiling), ice cream sandwiches made with deep-pocketed Belgium waffles, popsicles, and, of course, ice cream.
Ian has been making ice cream for years at Bru and before that at Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace, so he has a knack for scale and how far he can push the flavor boundaries. The freezer holds a max of 28 rotating options, often including Vietnamese Coffee, Raspberry Shortcake, Goat’s Milk Cajeta, and (dairy-free) Blackberry–Star Anise. Taste as many as you wish, and ask for the back stories while doing so.
Take the Breakfast: This combo of whiskey ice cream and chocolate-covered espresso beans was inspired by a recent trip to Ireland with Bryce’s parents. As Clark tells it, his mother-in-law fell in love with sipping Irish coffee throughout the day (yes, even before noon) and thus, the flavor was born.
For Burnt Honey (my personal favorite), beekeeper Tim Brod from Highland Honey Bees delivers the liquid gold directly to the Heifer and the Hen. Ian slowly caramelizes it and while the honey is still warm, he ribbons it into just-churned sweet cream ice cream.
Ian makes the Mint-Basil Bitter Chocolate by steeping the custard base with fresh herbs and then adding hand-shaved pieces of bitter chocolate into the ice cream as it’s churning.
The White Russian (a supremely creamy coffee ice cream with coffee liqueur) is a throwback to Ian’s favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s—one that was only made from 1986 to 1996.
The flavors change constantly—find your favorite by grabbing a scoop. In all likelihood, there will be a line, especially if you’re looking to swing at the float bar.
5290 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 720-328-3159, heiferandthehen.com