Recently, we caught up with Tyler DuBois of the Real Dill to learn how to make quick pickles at home. While we were filming, though, the conversation turned to beer. DuBois, who once helped brew at Wynkoop Brewing Company, whipped open his home fridge and pulled out the Real Dill’s latest: Titan Dills.
He got the idea from a collaboration between Brooklyn Brine and Dogfish Head, which brined pickles in a mixture that included Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA. “I kept thinking and thinking about this beer pickle,” DuBois says. “I thought, ‘There’s got to be a more unique way to do this.’ I had the idea of using raw ingredients and brewing a brine the same way that you would make a beer.”
He took his idea to Denver’s Great Divide Brewing Company, where he worked with head brewer Taylor Rees to craft a recipe using the brewery’s Titan IPA (a big and bold beer). The recipe uses the same ratio of grain and the same types of malted barley as the brew, but is milled with vinegar and water to create a brine to aid in pickling the cucumbers. “If you were making beer, you’d just use water and you’d extract those sugars from the malted barley to convert it to alcohol,” DuBois explains. “What we did is that, instead, we extracted those sugars and used that as a flavoring and a sweetener to our brine.”
The result is a perfectly crunchy, slightly citrusy, vaguely beer-y pickle. “We also used the same hops they used to bitter,” DuBois says. “It doesn’t necessarily taste like beer but you get all the notes of the ingredients.” All of which makes the Titan Dills perfect—and more appropriate—for midday fridge snacks (sans buzz).
—Image courtesy of the Real Dill