makes approximately 3 pints
2 12 oz bottles medium to full bodied beer
2 lbs small pickling cucumbers
3 cloves garlic
1-3 chili peppers, with or without seeds depending on heat preference
1 tbsp. each yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and kosher salt, divided (1 tsp. of each per jar)
Distilled white vinegar
Optional: ½ of a medium white onion, caramelized and patted dry
Jars and equipment for canning, if you want to can these pickles
If you’re canning these pickles, sterilize your jars, lids, and equipment. If not, make sure your jars and lids are clean.
Pour your beer into a large pot. It will foam up, so use a much larger pot than you think you need. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to medium low and simmer until it’s reduced by a third.
In another pot, bring 2 cups of vinegar to a boil. This will fill extra volume that the beer doesn’t, so you may have leftovers.
Trim the ends of your cucumbers and scrub them well. Quarter them lengthwise, and make sure that they fit in the jars. Add a clove of garlic, a chili pepper (if using), and a tsp. of each spice to your jars.
Fill the jar completely full of cucumbers, packing as many in as you can. This keeps the pickles from floating up. Fill your jars halfway with the hot beer. Top up the liquid with the hot vinegar, making sure that your pickles are completely submerged.
Put on lids, and shake to combine. If you’re canning the pickles, loosen the lids to finger tight, and process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner. If not, put your pickles in the refrigerator. If you can help it, don’t eat your pickles right away.
Patience pays off! Give them at least three days to develop optimal flavour.