Is it a pickle-flavored beer or a beer-flavored pickle? You decide.

By Tim Nelson
July 21, 2020
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With temperatures hitting intolerable highs and the world becoming more of a flaming hellscape by the hour, there are plenty of reasons to crack open a cold one right now. But when the mercury crosses a certain threshold, sipping on a highfalutin’ IPA just isn’t as appealing as something lighter and more drinkable— aka your crappy, low-cost American lager.

While there’s no doubt a big-brand light beer goes down smoother on a hot afternoon, it may not sound palatable for the kind of people who visit microbreweries. If that’s you, check out a little lager-based lifehack that can not only salvage your mediocre beer, but give you an electrolyte-packed snack to savor once it’s done.

That’s right folks: smart people are spending their summer days putting dill pickle slices into their pints of cheap beer. Though an Esquire article touched on the supposedly midwestern phenomenon back in 2017, it’s experienced something of a renaissance in 2020. It makes sense if you think about it: with so much more beer drinking happening away from bars these days, why wouldn’t you find out what a PBR with a pickle in it tastes like?

Though it’s a pretty left-field idea, there’s at least some logic to the pairing. First off, pickles and beers are both fermented, so there’s a little bit of synergy there. Joe McClure of McClure’s Pickles told Esquire that “the slight vinegar and salt notes” of the pickle add to the experience. Just as people enjoy salty snacks like fries and pretzels with a good macrobrew, dunking the pickle right in there streamlines the whole process.

Obviously, your mileage will vary, but I’d say there’s some merit to it, at least if anecdotal experience is any guide. As one of two friends who’s recently tried this experiment tells me, “I kind of enjoyed that I got to eat a cold, beer-flavored pickle afterwards on a hot day.” So if that sounds like something that suits you, dunk that dill in your Bud Light and get ready to party.