Use Beer To Pickle Your Vegetables

Photo: Claire Lower

You’re most likely already aware that beer makes a great deglazing liquid, but you may not be familiar with its pickling prowess. Using it to season and preserve vegetables is a great way to use up any beer you may not feel like drinking. (Just kidding. I know you guys always feel like drinking all the beer, but these pickles really are good.)

The brine is simple enough — it’s beer, vinegar, salt and sugar, plus whatever other flavorful friends you want to add. I’ve used this brine to pickle both onions and corn, and both were delightfully sweet and sour and infused with just a touch of debauchery. To make it yourself, you will need:

  • Your produce of choice — this amount of brine will cover one small onion, one large cucumber, or two ear’s worth of corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beer (Pick your poison! I used an IPA this time but lagers and stouts are also tasty)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cloves of smashed garlic
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Cut your onions into slivers, slice your cucumbers, or remove your corn kernels from the cob. Place the prepared produce in a 500ml jar or a soup container, and set it aside. If you want your pickles to have a kick, halve a jalapeño and throw that in there too.

Add the remaining ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, pour the hot brine over the vegetables, cover them loosely, and let the liquid cool to room temperature.

Pop your pickles in the fridge to cool overnight, then put them on sandwiches, sausages and leftover pizza.


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