A Sweet Tour: Blue Bell Creamery, TX

Yum—we’ve reached the home of “the little creamery”, Blue Bell Ice Cream, just two miles southeast on Loop Farm Road 577.

"Blue Bell Ice Cream tastes so good because the cows think Brenham is heaven." © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Like other visitors to “the little creamery in Brenham”, we share in the rich history of Blue Bell with a short film, observe the ice cream making process from the time the milk is received to the time the filled ice cream cartons are sent into the blast freezer, and end our tour with a serving or two or three of our “favorite” ice cream flavors.

“In the 1900 era there were hundreds of dairy farmers in this area,” related our tour guide. “Now there are only two or three in the county.” Today the creamery gets its milk from dairy farms within a 200-mile radius.

Blue Bell, still a family company after 104 years, does not sell franchises. That’s because, “We eat all we can and sell the rest,” our tour guide added.

We were led to an observation area that overlooks an array of gleaming steel pipes and containers. We see the pasteurizing tank, the flavoring tanks, and an area where special ingredients like peaches and pecans are added. The finished concoction is the consistency of soft custard when it’s poured into cartons. The cartons go straight into a blast freezer—wind chill factor minus 100 degrees—for eight hours before they get loaded onto trucks.

The company is control-freaky with its distribution. “Making good ice cream is one thing, but then you have to keep it at a constant temperature and ship it properly,” we were told. “We do it all ourselves. We have Blue Bell employees driving Blue Bell trucks that take it to the stores.”

What's your favorite flavor of Blue Bell ice cream? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

They don’t even let stockers fill the freezer cases — Blue Bell employees handle that part, too.

In addition to the tour, visitors can shop in the Blue Bell Country Store for Blue Bell logo items and special gifts with distinct country flavor.

Tours are offered weekdays. From October through February Blue Bell Creameries are on their winter schedule.  If you plan to come on a Wednesday or Friday please call first. Tours are Monday to Friday: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.  No weekend tours.

Visitors are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Groups of 15 or more must always have a reservation.

Since tour times change, it is recommended that you phone in advance (800-327-8135).

Admission costs (includes a serving of Blue Bell Ice Cream)

We ended our tour with a generous serving of our “favorite” Blue Bell ice cream flavor. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

General Admission $5.00
Senior Citizens (55+) and Children (6 to 14) $3.00

Tours are also available in other Blue Bell Creamery locations including Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Sylacauga, Alabama.

“Blue Bell Ice Cream tastes so good because the cows think Brenham is heaven.”

As I dug into my Pecan Pralines n’ Cream, I was pretty sure those cows were right.

What’s your favorite flavor of Blue Bell ice cream?

Texas Spoken Friendly

Worth Pondering…
Have Yourself a Blue Bell Country Day

If you could take a rainbow,

And a clear blue summer sky
And mix them with a gentle breeze,

In a bowl of pure sunshine;
You’d have the taste of Blue Bell,

Made the good old fashioned way;
Then you’d have a real good start,

On a Blue Bell country day;
Homemade Ice Cream

What a perfect way to say

Have yourself a Blue Bell country day.

—Aaron Barker

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