Beer plus pickles equal a match made in flavor-heaven. Whether you like your beer flavored with pickles or your pickles flavored with beer, we’ve got the recipes for you.
Sour Pickle Beer Recipe
First, let’s start with beer-flavored sour pickles. This is a simple trick that will add a surprisingly tangy, delicious twist to an ordinary glass of beer.
- Your choice of beer.
- Pickle juice.
- Variety of sliced pickles (cornichons, small whole pickles, crinkle cut).
- Fresh dill (optional).
- Pour a glass of beer.
- Add a splash of pickle juice.
- Slice pickles and arrange them on a skewer.
- Place a skewer in a glass as garnish.
- Add an additional pinch of dill as garnish (optional).
- Bottoms up!
Refrigerator Beer Pickle Recipe
For this recipe, we’re letting beer flavor our pickles (instead of the other way around).
- Wide-mouthed mason jars with screw lids (quart-sized is best).
- 1 pound whole, unwaxed pickling cucumbers – fresh, high quality is best
- 1-½ tablespoons salt
- 1 cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of water
- 12 ounces of beer (see note on beer choices below)
- 2 cups vinegar (apple cider or wine)
- ¼ teaspoons peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoons black mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
- Your favorite pre-mixed pickling spice (optional)
Choosing your beer: Pale ales or IPAs are most commonly used to pickle cucumbers. Lagers or pilsners are also great options. You can also get an astounding flavor out of ales (amber, red, English ordinary or special bitter), Saisons, or wheat beers.
- Clean and dry cucumbers.
- Combine the water, beer, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small pot and bring to simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Let cool down completely.
- In sterilized mason jars, add the cucumbers and the sliced peppers.
- Peel, quarter, and slightly smash the garlic.
- Add the peppercorns, mustard seed, garlic, chili flakes, and optional pickling spice to the jar.
- Fill the jars with cooled down pickling brine and make sure the pickles are completely submerged in liquid. Close the lids tightly and store them in the refrigerator. Turn jars upside down and then back up every day.
- Wait 7 days.
Natural Beer Pickle Recipe
- 1 pound whole, unwaxed pickling cucumbers – smaller sized and fresh is best
- 2-1/2 tablespoons salt
- 2 cups beer
- 2-1/2 cups water
- 6 sprigs fresh dill
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon peppercorn
Choosing your beer: the same options as the refrigerator method apply, but for this recipe, it’s best to choose a beer with a low ABV. You also don’t want a beer that’s too hoppy, so avoid IPAs.
- Combine the water, beer, and salt in a small pot and bring to simmer. Stir to dissolve the salt.
- Let cool down completely.
- Arrange the cucumbers and the dill in sterilized mason jars.
- Peel, smash, and quarter the garlic.
- Add the garlic and the peppercorns to the jars.
- Fill the jars with the cooled down pickling brine. Make sure the pickles are completely submerged in water.
- Close the lids tightly, and let sit in a cool (not cold) spot to ferment. Be sure the temperature does not exceed 75 Fahrenheit for safety.
- After 2-3 days, taste the pickles – they should be mildly sour with a sweet aftertaste, followed by a flavorful sweetness. For a richer, deeper taste, let the pickles ferment for another few days.
- After 5-7 days, enjoy!
- Store uneaten pickles in the refrigerator for a few more days.
Quick Sour Beer Pickled Vegetables Recipe
If you want to pickle more than just cucumbers, then this recipe – which pickles a variety of vegetables in sour beer – is the one for you.
- 2 medium carrots, cut into sticks 4-inches long and ¼-inch wide
- 8 ounces small pickling cucumbers, cut lengthwise
- 1 red pepper, cut into strips 4-inches long and ¼-inch wide
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips 4-inches long and ¼-inches wide
- 2 cups your choice of sour beer
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoon mustard seed (mix of black and yellow if possible – just black or just yellow will work fine, too)
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- Place the sliced carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, and yellow peppers in a heatproof bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine beer, vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, coriander seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, and red pepper. Using medium-high heat, bring the liquid to a bowl, then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer 5 minutes, or until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Pour hot liquid over the sliced vegetables.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
These recipes are likely not what you would normally expect when taking a sip of beer. But that’s a good thing. While there are many new, and often overly sweet homebrews full of fruity flavors, this sour pickle recipe puts a twist on the craft brew process. You may even consider serving this recipe with something sweet at parties. Give it a try and see how quickly you come back for another pour.