Blue Bell Ice Cream

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Texas' own Blue Bell is the third most popular ice cream in the country, but it's sold in only 16 states. That speaks volumes about the loyalty of its customers and the quality of the ice cream. Blue Bell began in 1907, down the road not far south of Austin in a little town called Brenham. A group of local farmers were blessed with too much cream and decided to open a butter-churning operation, and the Brenham Creamery Co. was born. With more milk came the decision to add ice cream to the mix, and soon the company was delivering by horse and wagon to local customers. In 1930, that little German-American creamery decided to name itself after a local wildflower, the Texas Bluebell (Eustoma grandiflorum).

Now Blue Bell has four plants, one in Okla­homa, one in Alabama, and two in Brenham. The milk from 50,000 Jersey and Holstein cows from dairies within 200 miles of Brenham is delivered every day. That milk produces about 50 different rotating flavors a year – a core list of 17 permanent flavors, plus others changing region to region, based on what is seasonal. The ice cream is made in rows of 60-gallon, small-batch freezers, and the company's goal, according to President Emeritus Howard Kruse, is "to fill our customers up on taste, not on fat and sugar." Blue Bell still makes half gallons, and the ice cream isn't pumped full of air like its competitors'. Blue Bell is so good that LBJ used to load up the galley freezers of Air Force One to haul it back to D.C., and in 1995 Atlantis shuttle astronauts insisted it be launched with them into space.

An essential piece of travel gear while in Austin is a spoon, since Blue Bell is sold in many convenience stores, and you never know when you might need a fix. Word: The new Mocha Madness flavor is deliciously addictive! For more civilized tasting, there are several Central Austin spots that serve Blue Bell. – M.V.

Austin Hilton

500 E. Fourth, 482-8000

Shady Grove

1624 Barton Springs Rd., 474-9991


6416 N. Lamar, 451-5440
301 W. Riverside, 472-9304

Big Top Candy Shop

1706 S. Congress, 462-2220

Tiff's Treats

1806 Nueces, 473-2600
11011 Research, 349-2200

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle