A Little about Blue Bell Creameries
Brenham Creamery Company began in 1907 as a group of dairy farmers making butter. In 1911 they began making a bit of ice cream with any excess cream. By he 1930’s there was a growing market for their ice cream and their name changed to Blue Bell Creameries after the native Texas bluebell wildflower.
Since then they have continued to make momentum and have been on the forefront of many ice cream firsts:
- First to mass produce cookies and cream
- First to make novelty ice cream shapes
Today it ranks as one of the top 3 ice creams in the US even though they are available in 26% of the nation’s supermarkets. (Told you the ice cream is good!)
The 45 minute tour begins as you enter the Blue Bell Creameries parking lot in Brenham, TX. You are reminded of an old time creamery with it’s main street facade 1930’s ice cream trucks out front.
Once you enter the tour center you can purchase tickets for the next available tour. Don’t worry about timing as the tours are pretty regular. You won’t have more than a 15 minute wait.
While you are waiting you can watch the movie in the lobby or look at the information boards. But do remember to pick up your ice cream hat before the tour begins.
Your tour guide, typically a local college student, will take you through the main production areas of the plant. You will of see where they prep the cream and add the base flavors, how they create their famous homemade vanilla, what new flavors they are working on, and how they make their novelty items.
They have added in a walk through freezer now that let’s you experience what ice cream feels like as it enter the flash freezer. The expressions on the children’s faces are priceless as they first get that blast of cold air.
Photographs are not allowed on the tour so you will have to see this for yourself.
The Ice Cream
At the end of the tour your tour guide will lead you to an old time ice cream parlor where you can chose a scoop of ice cream to try. They typically have 16 flavors available to try.
A fun thing to do is have everyone get a different flavor. In our case we will all sit around one of the ice cream parlor tables with out ice cream cups in front of us. At any time Mr J will yell switch and everyone has to switch flavors. Our one problem with this is Mr J will also decide where the flavors go so when he has decided which he likes the best it seems to always make its way back to him.
If one scoop is not enough or you don’t want to take the tour that is ok. You can buy a scoop for $1. This is the cheapest scoop of ice cream you will ever find as these scoops are HUGE! We have made attempts at eating two scoops but no one seems to be able to do it.
Some of our favorite flavors are:
- Dad – Mint Chocolate Chip
- Mom – Italian Cream Cake
- Mr J – Red Velvet Cake
- Mr T – Birthday Cake
It seems we definitely like our cake flavors.
Once you have finished the tour and filled up on ice cream head to their Country Store. This little store is filled with Blue Bell and ice cream related products.
Where else can you get a painting of a dairy cow or a cd of Cow-Tunes for the car ride home?
- Blue Bell Country Store, Parlor & Visitor Center | 1101 South Blue Bell Road Brenham, Texas 77833
- Tours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. No weekend tours. Closed most holidays.
- Admission costs (last 45 minutes and includes a serving of Blue Bell Ice Cream):
- General Admission $6.00
- Senior Citizens (55+) and Children (6 to 14) $4.00
- Groups of 15 or more must have a reservation Sept. through May
- No group reservations June thru August.
- No cameras permitted on tour.
- To purchase tickets online click here.
If you just want to visit the Blue Bell Country Store or grab a scoop of ice cream you can do that Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m and Saturday and most holidays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
As I have mentioned, this is one of our family’s favorite outings. So if you ever find yourself in Houston take a little drive up to Brenham for a taste of the best ice cream in Texas.