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Pickle beer returns to Longmont

Bootstrap Brewing set to release coveted pickle beer on Friday

Pickle connoisseurs can rejoice. Brined cucumbers are coming to Longmont and, more specifically, to your pint glass. 

On Friday, Bootstrap Brewing will release cans of its dill pickle beer, called Pickle Me Up, during a pickle party at its taproom at 142 Pratt Street at 5 p.m.

The brewery is excited about the release. “I’ve got pickle squad t-shirts for the taproom staff, we’ll give out pickle shots to everyone, we can’t wait,” said Co-owner Leslie Kaczeus. 

In June of 2021, the brewery celebrated its ninth anniversary with the pickle beer, claiming it was a solid hit with patrons. “It took off this summer and it was a pleasant surprise. We couldn’t keep it on tap,” said Co-owner and Steve Kazceus.

Leslie Kaczeus added,“It’s really unique. Distributors tasted it and said, ’Yes. Put that in a can.’ ” She said they thought it would do well on liquor store shelves and imagined the beer showing up at barbecues, picnics and at the burgeoning number of pickleball courts that are opening both locally and across the country.  

The beer is refreshing and not like what’s leftover in the condiment jar when the pickles are gone. Presenting with a golden rather than pickle green color, it’s light on hops and maintains a salt and dill flavor that’s surprisingly sippable. If a drinker was blindfolded, it wouldn’t be difficult to identify this as a pickle beer.

Pickle beers aren’t as unique as drinkers expect. Thornton’s Satire Brewing won an award for their pickle beer though it’s not on tap currently.  

Outside of Colorado, Texas is a haven for pickle beer producers. Midway between Austin and San Antonio, New Braunfels Brewing made a pickle beer in 2015. Fort Worth’s Martin House brewed one just after that and it became so popular that patrons lined up to taste it and the brewer made it a year-round offering that was distributed statewide. At least one other Texas version is also available from Hop Fusion Ale Works, also in Fort Worth.

The Kazeucses said it was a trip to San Antonio that gave them the inspiration for the beer. Leslie Kaczeus said she wasn’t surprised that drinkers appreciate the flavor. “I’ve been adding pickle juice to light beers for a while now,” she said.

Pickles aren’t alone as novelty applications of picnic condiments in beer. Nearly two years ago, Oskar Blues debuted a Mustard Beer, created by head brewer Juice Drapeau, that was surprisingly floral. The release was timed to celebrate National Mustard Day. There’s also been a spicy ketchup beer from now-closed Coalition Brewing in Portland, Oregon.

“Some say it’s even got health benefits,” said Steve Kaczeus. “There’s sodium and potassium in there. Take it with you hiking. For sure.”