The Old Growler in the Kitchen: Beer Pickles


Any garden vegetable can be pickled: carrots, onions, beets, cauliflower, radishes, green beans, not to mention hardboiled eggs.

Vegetables should be prepared so that as much surface as possible is exposed to the brine. The best way to do that is to use a “mandolin,” a board with a thin blade attached that is used to thinly slice foods for preparation as ingredients in cooking.

The thinly sliced veggies are then packed, with spices and herbs, into containers such as glass jars or ceramic containers with tightly fitted lids.

A basic brine of two cups vinegar, four cups water (beer), four tablespoons of salt, and two teaspoons of sugar, combined and brought to a boil is all there is to it. That is enough brine to pickle about three pints of pickles.

After the veggies are sliced and packed into the jars, the brine is added with the herbs and spices. Then the jars are placed in the fridge for a few days.

After a test run using a traditional brine, I decided to put some past-prime beer to good use and substitute the beer for the water in the brine.

This video will take you through the necessary steps involved in essential cold-stored pickles. These pickles must be KEPT IN THE FRIDGE. If you do not keep them refrigerated, I will not be responsible for the results.

It is essential to assemble all the ingredients and sauce pan to boil the brine and clean containers for the pickles before starting. That included slicing all the veggies and then cleaning the mandolin.

Let’s get started!

Beer and Food Beer Pickles (Part One)

BEER PICKLES PART TWO “In the Kitchen” pickled up beer-pickled red onions and beer-pickled cucumbers in the first video.

The resulting beer-pickled cucumbers and onions were remarkably different from traditionally pickled cucumbers and onions. The additional flavors of sweet malt and hops accentuate the herbs and spices we used, especially with the pickled onions.

Using beer instead of water adds a unique flavor. The amount of sweetness and bitterness in the beer is intensified by the spices and herbs and the salt and sugar in the brine. It is best to use light-colored ales and lagers for the best results.

Now you have all the necessary information you will need to make your own beer-pickled onions, cucumbers, and just about anything else of that sort.


2 cups vinegar (of choice)

4 cups of water (in this case beer)

4 tablespoons of salt

4 teaspoons of sugar.

*The type of salt and sugar will affect the flavor of the pickles in subtle ways.

Beer Pickles (Part Two)


This is just the basics. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Better yet, the next time you make a vegetable salad or prep any vegetables for dinner, save a few leftovers and freeze them. After you have enough, thaw them out and pickle the lot. You can call them “odds and Ends” pickles. Have fun!

How To Make Beer Pickles
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

First, let me introduce myself. I am Peter LaFrance, author of Beer Basics and Cooking & Eating With Beer, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. – 1995). I have also been published in American Brewer, All About Beer, and Ale Street News.

I have been writing about the brewing industry since 1984. Credits include contributing editor for Restaurant Management and Top Shelf magazines. I have also written for Beverage Media, New Brewer, Beverage Dynamics, and All About Beer magazine.

Welcome to The Old Growler!

Follow The Old Growler

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x