Put the Pickle in Your Shitty Beer

About five years ago, I was madly into craft beer, especially Belgian beer, and anything that spontaneously fermented. But somewhere along the way, I developed an allergy (?) Or some kind of “condition” due to which I sneeze every time I drink a beer that is not too light in taste and consistency. I was upset at first, but I dealt with it. In fact, drinking shitty beer is liberating.

Fancy beers have a lot of rules. You must use the correct glass, pour it in a specific way, and serve it at the optimal temperature for drinking. There are no such rules regarding shitty beer. These crunchy boys can be hacked and drunk straight from the can. There is no “flavor profile” to spoil , almost no taste, so anyone can use them to make shandi and micelada unencumbered by the craft beer culture, which is arguably the worst culture. This is all to say (and justify) the fact that I added pickles to my shitty beer and the results were clearly unpleasant.

Pouring alcohol on pickles is nothing new to me. I’ve been adding them to martinis and Bloody Mary for years, but neither is as easy as throwing one into a frosty glass of watery lager. The brine gives the beer the flavor it desperately needs, and the salt tastes especially good on a hot, sweaty day (electrolytes). The delicate sourness that the brine imparts is balanced out by any bitterness present in your cauldron, and it’s all quite refreshing. Alternatively, you can eat the beer-soaked brine when you finish your drink. Good!

Which marinade you use is up to you, but I recommend a spear, preferably Grillo’s or Clausen, as both are quite acidic and more than half acidic. Spicy pickles can be a treat too. (Full Disclosure: Grillo’s did send me a box of pickles, although I already bought their pickles before packing the pickles.) Also, make sure your beer is cold – as cold as an unspecified mountain range. Slightly cold, slightly salty beer is neither tasty nor refreshing. So chill these crunchy boys and chill them well.

7/22/2020 1:15 PM EST: This story has been updated to include the fact that Grillo’s sent me some pickles.

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