You know what’s awesome? Beer. You know what else is awesome? Pickles. You know what works together surprisingly well? Beer and pickles.
Now, imagine the awesomeness of beer and the awesomeness of pickles combined, and what do you get? Beer pickles. Damn right! Awesome.
The folks at Dogfish Head must have thought the same thing, because they recently teamed up with the Brooklyn Brine Co., a Brooklyn-based artisanal pickle shop, to create the Hop-Pickle. The hand-labeled and individually jarred batch is made with caramelized onions and various peppers and spices, but in addition to that, they add Dogfish’s 60 Minute IPA and cascade hops. The spice and earthiness of the hops is meant to compliment the bite you’d expect from a great pickle.
So, does it work? Here’s my quick review:
The appearance is that of a pickle. It’s darker green around the edges with a lighter, somewhat brownish shade toward the middle.
The smell is all pickle. Big vinegar notes, a lot of spice and all that jazz. You do get a bit of the hops and a little onion as well.
The taste is cold on the front of the tongue with a definite bite. It’s got a chunky and sour mouthfeel with a strong vinegar note. You get a strong punch of onion on the end, and the hops are definitely noticeable on the finish. It gives it a big spicy note without any heat. It’s a damn fine pickle.
In all seriousness, this thing was pretty damn good. It sounds crazy, but you can definitely taste the hops and IPA in it. The spice and earthiness is a nice compliment to the flavors of the peppers and onions. The two other jars I got – Damn Spicy and Spicy Maple Bourbon – are also great and live up to their names. Brooklyn Brine seems like a pretty cool artisanal company and a good fit for the strange minds at Dogfish.