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Onward Debates: Berkey Creamery vs. Meyer Dairy

Football, the alumni network, and ice cream.

Those might be the things that Penn State is most known for. If you go to Penn State, went to Penn State, or even know someone who goes to Penn State, the chances are pretty high that you’ve been to the Berkey Creamery.

When families come up to visit their little Nittany Lion or alumni return to their old stomping grounds, a large portion of them go home with a couple of gallons of Creamery ice cream. It is wildly popular, and rightfully so.

What we’ve discovered, though, is that not many people know there’s another creamery mere minutes from campus: Meyer Dairy.

Meyer Dairy is just down South Atherton, across the road from Weis Markets, and unfortunately not a walkable distance from campus. Nonetheless, even though Meyer Dairy is a little further away, it also has some of the best ice cream and other dairy products out there.

Having two incredible dairy stores so close in proximity is quite a blessing to the State College community, but which is better? Two of our staffers decided to debate the topic.

Evan Halfen: Berkey Is Best

Every Penn Stater knows that Berkey Creamery is a staple to our community. The Creamery offers a variety of dairy products made right here at Penn State. However, the star is its world-renowned ice cream. 

When it comes to ice cream, tradition counts, and the Penn State Berkey Creamery has it in spades. Founded in 1865, it’s one of the oldest collegiate creameries in the United States. Generations of Penn Staters have indulged in its rich, creamy treats, creating a legacy that’s as sweet as the ice cream itself.

Over the years, the Creamery has made over 100 ice cream flavors, including fan favorites Death by Chocolate and Peachy Paterno. At any given time, you can find more than 20 flavors right at its store, ready to make your tummy and heart happy. Meyer Dairy ice cream, while tasty, simply can’t match this variety.

The Creamery’s commitment to quality is evident in the use of fresh, local ingredients. Penn State is in the heart of Pennsylvania’s dairy country, and it sources its dairy from the university’s Dairy Production Center and local milk suppliers, ensuring the freshest and finest ingredients in every scoop.

Meyer ice cream, while good, may not be able to boast the same degree of freshness and quality in its ingredients.

If I’m being honest, Meyer’s gets old after a while. The flavors and texture don’t excite me anymore, unlike the Creamery. Sure, it has your basic flavors like vanilla and mint chocolate chip, but you can’t find flavors like Peachy Paterno, WPSU Coffee Break, and Alumni Swirl anywhere else. 

Once I had my first scoop of Monkey Business a few years ago, I immediately switched teams. Don’t even get me started on the Creamery’s ice cream cookie sandwiches.

Furthermore, Berkey Creamery’s fame extends far beyond the confines of the Penn State campus. It’s been featured on national television programs, in magazines, and even served at prestigious events. When you’re eating Berkey Creamery ice cream, you’re tasting a piece of history that’s recognized across the country.

Back when Barack Obama was President of the United States, the Creamery whipped up three specialty flavors for his inaugural ball in 2009: BaRocky Road, Biden Berry, and Obama White House. To my knowledge, Meyer hasn’t done anything as noteworthy as that. 

It continuously creates new, exciting flavors to keep the ice cream experience fresh and captivating. It’s a testament to its dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with ice cream.

While Meyer Dairy certainly has its merits, there’s just something special about the Berkey Creamery at Penn State. It’s a place where history, tradition, innovation, and community intersect. Also, Berkey provides dry ice for those weary travelers who want to take some ice cream home. Does Meyer Dairy do that?

Rico Gore: Meyer Dairy Is Where It’s At

Listen, I’m a big fan of Berkey Creamery. Grilled Stickies is a top-tier ice cream flavor. However, last year, I ventured out to Meyer Dairy with my family. Needless to say, my socks were blown off before even eating a bite of ice cream.

The vibes are so much better than Berkey. This might just be because I’m a sucker for small-town dairy farms, but Meyer is so homey in a way that Berkey just isn’t. Berkey is like a factory. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I just prefer that “local old family dairy farm” vibe that Meyer Dairy gives. The store itself sits right in front of the farm, which just adds to that farm vibe that I love so dearly.

Now let’s talk about the product. Meyer Dairy has just about every ice cream flavor you can think of. The names aren’t quite as cool as what Berkey Creamery has, but in my opinion, the actual ice cream is better. I believe that Meyer Dairy ice cream is thicker, denser, and creamier. The flavors are solid, but it is just the general texture and feel of the ice cream that I believe sets Meyer apart from the Creamery. The quality of the ice cream at Meyer is far superior. When you are pulling your spoon away from the cup, the ice cream should be trying to stick. The ice cream should be trying to keep from coming to your mouth like a dog not wanting to go to the vet. That is when you know that you have good ice cream. Thick, dense, sticky ice cream is the best ice cream. 

And guess what? You can mix ice cream flavors at Meyer Dairy. Have you ever wanted to try two flavors of ice cream but couldn’t because you found yourself at Berkey Creamery? I’m sorry, but the whole no mixing flavors is complete bullshit. Segregation ended years ago. Let me mix my damn ice cream flavors. Enough with the “tradition” of it. I don’t care. I want to try two or three different flavors. Thankfully, Meyer Dairy isn’t weird like that. It lets you mix.

If I’m being completely honest, I have not had the ice cream sandwiches at Meyer Dairy. However, I did recently stare at them for a while. They have ice cream sandwiches for every flavor of ice cream that it carries. It is beautiful. I am sure they are amazing, and I can’t wait to give them a try.

In conclusion, I do love Berkey Creamery. However, I believe that Meyer Dairy is right up there with Berkey, if not better. Put some respect on its dairy name.

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