Have you ever tried a root beer float hamburger?

Root beer floats are awesome, right? And of course, hamburgers are delicious too. Americans consume an estimated 50 BILLION burgers per year. We're not convinced that stat is completely accurate, as it would mean each American would have to eat around three burgers a week. Regardless, the US eats a lot of burgers. I probably average one hamburger per week, either at home on the grill, or from a restaurant.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva

The Root Beer Float Burger is reportedly a South Dakota creation.

We're sure somebody, somewhere, at some point in history, may have dunked their hamburger into a root beer float, perhaps after a few too many cocktails. However, according to our quick internet search, this unique creation of sweet and savory got its start with a chef in South Dakota.

a root beer float hamburger
The root beer float burger. Credit HGI Billings, used with permission

Billings sous chef Liam Stephan brought the creation to Billings.

We stopped by the Hilton Garden Inn in Billings this week to catch up with Liam Stephan, who we believe is the first person to put the root beer float burger on a menu in Montana. The young foodie has been in the restaurant industry for less than a year and credits his former head chef for inspiring him to create fun, interesting food.

Stephan's father works in North Dakota, where he heard about the root beer float burger in Sioux Falls, SD. Dad challenged Liam and Liam's mom to see who could create the best root beer float burger, and Liam's burger was apparently the best. After dialing in his version of the root beer float burger, he approached his work about doing a special.

Credit Michael Foth, TSM
Sous chef Liam Stephan. Credit Michael Foth, TSM

Ok... so how does the ice cream not melt into a messy puddle?

Before I visited with Stephan, the big debate in our office was, "How does the ice cream not melt? Doesn't it make the burger cold and soggy?" We had questions. So. Many. Questions.

two kids whispering a secret
Shhhh. it's a secret. Credit Canva

Liam let us in on a little secret.

The "ice cream" on the root beer float burger is not really ice cream. It's a whipped combination of heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and gelatin. The burger patty is cooked in a root beer reduction to absorb some of the soda flavors, and the scoop of "ice cream" is covered in a drizzle of delectable root beer glaze. Fans claim the sweet and savory combo is ridiculously delicious.

Credit Michael Foth, TSM
The Hilton Garden Inn. Credit Michael Foth, TSM

Dining is available daily at the Hilton Garden Inn.

As locals, we often overlook some of the great food options that are available at hotel restaurants in Billings. Everyone is welcome for breakfast or dinner service at the Hilton Garden Inn (behind Home Depot), where they're busy implementing tasty new menu creations.

At this time, the Root Beer Float Burger is not available daily but will be offered as a special on various dates. Follow them on Facebook to see your next opportunity to try this interesting burger creation.

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