We’ll just go ahead and ignore the name here, instead focusing on the fact that, yes, this is a pickle-flavored beer.
And you know? That’s not quite as odd as it sounds. Pickle juice and booze are a classic combo, whether it’s the Russian custom of eating pickle slices to chase vodka, or downing a pickle back after a shot of whiskey, there’s something about the savory spice of pickle brine that just works.
It was inevitable that pickles would enter the beer realm at some point. Cigar City once made a pickle lager — including an eyebrow-raising white oak-treated version — that was delicious but tragically has hasn’t been seen in a couple of years. More recently, Flying Boat made an outstanding pickle gose treated, somewhat improbably, with actual, legitimate pickles.
That one came and went pretty quickly, cashing in on a Rick & Morty meme and disappearing almost as quickly as a case of McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce (currently available on eBay for $550 per packet, if you’re in the market).
Southern Brewing and Winemaking, a Seminole Heights homebrew shop and nanobrewery, is now in the pickle brew game, bringing a refreshing new gose to the table, flavored with all the tart-savory pickle goodness you could ever want in a beer.
Salt-Peter Soft Pickle gose, make no mistake, is for pickle fans only. The flavor is not subtle — it tastes like a crisp, well-brined dill pickle. Think of it as a deconstruction of sorts: instead of heating cucumbers in a flavored brine, fresh cucumbers are marinated along with dill and pickling spices in a semi-salty, tart base beer. I’m told the post-treatment cucumbers are delicious.
If you’re even remotely curious, give this one a shot. Salt-Peter Soft Pickle is surprisingly satisfying and endlessly refreshing, in the way that a hearty bloody mary is for vodka drinkers. This one’s a tasting room exclusive, so swing by 4500 N Nebraska Ave. in Tampa and get your pickle fix in Southern’s tropical beer garden. You may be surprised by how much you like it.
— Justin Grant
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