Kind of a big dill: beer-brined pickles

‘Tis the season to grill, chill, drink & BBQ! I’m currently working on a few fun recipes for your next summer soiree with dishes that pair up nicely with a few cold ones. Guinness has a new Blonde American Lager which is the perfect blonde brew to match up with these summer favorites.

That post will be coming soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe you can make ahead that will be the perfect complement to your next BBQ or picnic – beer-brined pickles!


Beer-brined pickles

Makes 2 large mason jars (24 ounces each)

2 pounds cucumbers (I use Parisian pickles sliced in half lengthwise)

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups beer (I used Guinness American Lager)

2 bunches fresh dill

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon seasoning blend (I love Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute)

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper (If you prefer more heat, you can always add more to taste)

8 cloves of garlic – smashed and skin removed


Start with clean jars. 

Wash and slice cucumbers into either slices or spears. When using Parisian cucumber I prefer spears. Tip: make sure to cut off the ends of the cucumbers. There are enzymes in them that will make your pickles soggy. 

Pack the sliced cucumbers into the jars while leaving some room in the middle of each jar for spices and herbs. Divide the spices noted above between the two jars and then add them to the middle of each jar with the dill and garlic.  

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, beer and sugar. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat, and stir until the sugar is melted. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the hot liquid into each jar, filling it to the top but leaving 1/2 inch head space. Put on the lids to seal and let the pickles cool before putting them in the refrigerator. Let the pickles hang out in the fridge for two days in order to maximize their marination and full flavor. They will keep in the fridge for a month (but I don’t think they’ll last that long). 

How do you like to eat your pickles? Straight out of the jar like me? Or on an actual burger or sandwich? 

This post is a part of the Guinness Blonde BBQ Challenge to use their new Blonde American Lager in BBQ-inspired recipes. I’m just getting started, as there will be another post with more summer fun recipes coming up soon!