Berkey Creamery: the taste of Happy Valley

Editor’s note: Each week during football season, our staff will come up with a list of must-see attractions in the host city. For away games, this will serve as an all-purpose visitor’s guide. For home games, it will help you learn more about the Champaign-Urbana area. This week, we look into the Berkey Creamery, which makes ice cream on Penn State’s campus.

Most Big Ten institutions have an agriculture school, which helps them fulfill their land grant missions as state universities. Penn State is no different. Founded in 1855 as an agriculture college, Penn State became part of the land grant movement after Congress passed the Morrill Land-Grant Act in 1862.

With a rich dairy tradition in the area, the university built a creamery on campus in 1889. Since then, Penn State students, alumni, faculty and fans alike have been able to indulge on ice cream made from local dairy cows.

The Berkey Creamery, right in the heart of the Happy Valley campus, serves up more than 100 flavors of ice cream, 10 varieties of frozen yogurt and six types of sherbet. Some of the flavors have been inducted into the Berkey Creamery “Hall of Fame” because of the accomplishments that are attached to the name of the ice cream.

Joe Paterno, head coach of the Nittany Lion football team has “Peachy Paterno” named in his honor. Keeny Beany is named after Professor Emeritus Philip Keeney, a nationally recognized teacher and scientist in ice cream and chocolate technology, and WPSU coffee break pays tribute to the university’s public television station.

One of the most appetizing treats available for consumption is the giant chipwich. Two giant chocolate chip cookies with a healthy serving of ice cream frozen in between allow dessert lovers to indulge in some of Penn State’s finest offerings.

Many dessert seekers wonder how the Berkey Creamery can make its ice cream so creamy. The answer is simple: The university includes a 14.1 percent butterfat content in its creations to keep its texture.

The Creamery is not solely responsible for ice cream production, but for other dairy products such as cheeses, yogurts and milk. The Creamery is also responsible for providing dairy products for the dorms on campus.

Lines for ice cream after a home football game can last so long that fans find themselves waiting for more than two hours just to taste the creamy goodness. A hint for Illini fans making the trip: those who are only purchasing half-gallon containers to take home can cut the line to buy the ice cream. Those who enjoy it as much as everyone in state college can even bring some back to Illinois, because the creamery has dry ice available for purchase to keep the ice cream frozen for the long haul back home.