Lyndsay Burginger

Putting a Pickle in Beer is an Oddly Delicious Midwestern Thing

I love pickles. Fried pickles, pickles baked in cupcakes, or drank with whiskey, pickles and their juice have a characteristic taste you can't beat. Recently Pabst Blue Ribbon shared a photo on Instagram of adding a dill pickle spear to a glass of frosty PBR. Intrigued, I looked into adding pickles to beer, and apparently, people in the Midwest have been adding cukes to their lagers for years.

According to Argus Leader, a local South Dakota newspaper, "Ordering a pickle in your beer in South Dakota is akin to ordering a side of ketchup or ranch with your french fries." Jeremy Deutsch, manager of Cubby's Bar in Brookings, shared that the trend of drinking pickle beer came from the original South Dakota martini which was popular in the 1980s. A traditional South Dakota martini contains domestic lager, tomato juice, green olives, and pickles. The Bloody Mary-esque drink is perfect for summer days.

"We've had several people from out of state, just as you're pouring a beer and adding pickles into it, ask what we're putting in the beer," Deutsch said in an interview. "It's a regional thing at least in the Midwest — you have it in Minnesota and Nebraska sometimes — but it's really a South Dakota niche, I think."

It looks like the pickle is normally paired with a light beer, like a pale ale. It's no surprise that PBR is a fan of the trend. The company was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

How to Make Your Own 

Lyndsay Burginger

This has got to be the easiest cocktail to make, perfect for pickle-lovers and beer-lovers. Plus, this trending combo makes a cheap beer taste better.

Grab a lager (no craft beer please, leave the IPA and gose out of the equation for this one) and grab a pickle spear. Pour the beer into a pint glass, place the pickle in and enjoy the saltiness from the pickle brine. Your beer will never be the same.

Best Maid Dill Pickles

Texas Brewery Introduces Pickle Beer Made with Best Maid Pickles

Make your way down south and you'll find that Texans love pickles so much that they put it in their beer. Fort Worth-based Martin House Brewing Company is home to the Best Maid Sour Pickle Beer, a sour gose (4.7% ABV, 3 IBU) created with Best Maid's dill pickling brine. The salt notes make this beer a must-try.

This article was originally published on July 22, 2020.