What’s better than liquid nitrogen ice cream, milkshakes, coffees and espressos?
I’ll tell you – liquid nitrogen ice cream, milkshakes, coffees, espressos and booze.
Buzzed Bull Creamery isn’t your average, every day run-of-the-mill ice cream shop. This ice cream shop has something the whole family can enjoy – plus a little something extra special for the adults.
From the moment you step foot inside Buzzed Bull Creamery, you know you’re in for a real treat – pun entirely intended.
Buzzed Bull harnesses the power of liquid nitrogen to make their delightful frozen creations.
In case you are wondering, this process involves essentially flash freezing ingredients like cream, milk, vanilla, sugar, etc., with a short burst of liquid nitrogen. The result produces a small, billowy fog and an instant frozen cup of goodness.
Because the process happens so quickly and in real time, the end product is usually smoother, denser, more flavorful and fresher than traditional ice cream.
But that’s not where the uniqueness of this creamery ends.
Guests 21 and up get to choose between a “buzzed” and “non-buzzed” experience.
Buzzed treats, as the name might suggest, are alcohol-infused. All specialities can be made “buzzed” by adding one of Buzzed Bull Creamery’s suggested liquors or by selecting your own.
Each “buzzed” creation starts at about a 5% ABV, but additional shots can be added for an extra charge.
Next, guests are asked to pick from one of Buzzed Bull’s 30 different ice cream flavors and select their toppings and mix-ins.
Ice cream flavors include: Vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, Nutella, cake-batter, mint, espresso, maple, butter pecan, honey, brownie batter, strawberry, banana, pineapple, cherry and coconut.
Toppings and extras include: M&M’s, Reese’s, Snickers, Butterfingers, Oreo’s, Snickers, chocolate chips, gummy worms, waffle cone pieces, brownie bites, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, almonds, chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, cookie dough and whipped cream.
Don’t forget to ask for the cherry on top. Cherries also come in your choice of “regular” or “moonshine,” of course.
How the idea for a boozy ice cream shop in Pigeon Forge was born
How does one come up with the idea for an alcohol-infused liquid nitrogen ice cream shop? We talked to the Buzzed Bull Creamery’s creator and CEO, Colten Mounce to get the scoop. Last ice cream pun, I promise.
“This concept came up with my wife and I sitting on the couch eating vanilla ice cream and drinking Bourbon. This was 2013 – and there was really nothing like this at the time,” says Mounce.
“Initially all I wanted to do was be a customer. I wondered where I could go buy [alcohol-infused ice cream]. We started looking around there was just nothing out there. We started talking to friends and family and everyone just thought this was the coolest idea in the world. That’s when we really said – ‘OK, I think we have something here.'”
The Pigeon Forge location is one of many in the rapidly expanding Buzzed Bull franchise.
“We developed the concept about seven years ago and started franchising in 2018. Last year we sold close to 120 locations. We have locations going in from here to Phoenix to Dallas to Atlanta and just about everywhere in between.”
Shiv Patel and his wife Mishika are the co-owners of Buzzed Bull in Pigeon Forge. They met Mounce while visiting one of his other locations. They fell in love with the concept and asked about opening one in East Tennessee.
Naturally, Mounce thought Buzzed Bull Creamery would be a great fit for the area.
“This is a fun unique concept, and it seems like this town loves unique concepts. We thought [Pigeon Forge] would be a fantastic location to really be able to expand the brand on a national level,” says Mounce.
The challenges of launching a business in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for business owners across the globe, and Buzzed Bull Creamery has not been immune to those challenges.
“COVID delayed us a bit just because we were having issues with supply chains, inventory and equipment. Certain things, like the giant nitrogen tank – guys that do that kind of stuff had to start working with hospitals to help with COVID relief, so we got put on the back burner. We got opened down here as quickly as we possibly could,” says Mounce.
Despite the delays, Buzzed Bull’s many new locations have been eager to open their doors.
“Now that everything is starting to open back up again, it’s been a bottleneck because everybody wants to open at the same time. We just keep trying to get everyone open as quickly as we can.”
Over 700 million different ways to make an ice cream
Mounce also talked about the unique process of using liquid nitrogen to make their signature selections.
“Everything is frozen using liquid nitrogen. What that allows us to do is a couple of different things: It allows people to customize everything from your mix-ins, to toppings and flavors and your alcohol as well. It really gives you an endless number of combinations. We have something like 700 million different ways you can make an ice cream,” says Mounce.
“We have a specialty menu board right behind the register – those are fan favorites – stuff that previous customers and employees have come up with. We try to leverage the fact that there are a lot of people out that have really creative ideas. I’m not above shamelessly taking great ideas and turning them into flavors that everyone else will love.”
Buzzed Bull Creamery also prides themselves on making sure each customer who walks through the door is happy with their selection.
“We will give you what our suggested buzzes are for each flavor and we can also help with creating your own flavors and help you with what kind of alcohols will work and what will turn out weird. We want to make sure everyone has a great experience when they come in.”
Adding a local flavor with Ole Smoky Moonshine
Buzzed Bull Creamery customers might also recognize a few familiar names behind the counter – most notably, Ole Smoky Moonshine.
“When we first opened we found a great relationship with Ole Smoky. So that was one of the first things we put on the menu,” says Mounce.
“We got involved with a number of liquor distributors, and they brought in an Ole Smoky rep about a month and a half prior to opening. We hit it off really well. Originally, we had a different recipe for our Hard Apple Pie. Just based on how good the relationship was, I was like, ‘Dude, let’s see if we can change this up and utilize your product.'”
Some Ole Smoky Moonshine concoctions are exclusive to the local franchise locations. For instance, Ole Smoky’s Peanut Butter Whiskey.
“It makes sense to try and carry as many local liquors as possible. From state to state, we don’t always get the same alcohols that are available for sale.”
Mounce also talked about his relationship with Ole Smoky Moonshine possibly blossoming into the consumer packaged goods market. This means there is a chance Buzzed Bull Creamery’s Ole Smoky Ice Cream could be in grocery stores across the nation in the future.
“We are hoping to be able to do some more stuff with them from a consumer side to do packaged goods and get the alcohol infused ice cream products into grocery stores. So far they’ve been really receptive to that.”
Buzzed Bull Creamery may soon expand to Gatlinburg and Knoxville
Mounce also commented on the possibility of continuing to expand Buzzed Bull’s footprint in the immediate area.
“I am excited to see how this place grows and how it can help us grow into additional locations. We are hoping within the next year or so we can expand into Knoxville and Gatlinburg.”
Buzzed Bull Creamery is located at 3239 Parkway Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Check out their website for more information at BuzzedBullCreamery.com.