Urban Artifact is presenting sour beer enthusiasts with a grain of hope for 2020 by giving us what we really want for the holidays: Pickle. Traditionally a summer release, Pickle is a gose-style brew loaded up with 1,000 pounds of cucumbers, two pounds of fresh dill, nine pounds of sea salt, and more than a pound of coriander per batch. This beer doesn’t just taste like pickles; it is pickles. Its intensely refreshing dill flavor makes it the perfect complement to a burger or reuben on a sunny day, and it’s the reason it flies off shelves faster than it can be produced every run.
So why the transition? It turns out Pickle was always intended to be a winter brew, paying tribute to a late 19th century German-American Christmas tradition. Though the origin story varies, it always involves a pickle ornament hidden on the Christmas tree, with a reward for the first one who finds it on Christmas morning. The rewards range from dibs on opening the first present to receiving an extra gift from Saint Nick to good luck for the entire year. While production for Pickle wound up in the summer, Urban Artifact’s co-owner and founder Scotty Hunter is ready to “bring it back to where it originated.”
In terms of taste, Xmas Pickle will feature the same ingredients as its summer predecessor, providing us with the familiar flavor we either adore or abhor. The only change is a visible one, with a quirky winterscape of the brewery’s grounds surrounding the can, replacing the bold green packaging and making it a perfectly-wrapped gift for under the tree.
Note even more special touches on the can like the pickle beer cart from the old design and, of course, an evergreen topped with a giant pickle. This design was conjured up by Chief of Organization Scott Hand, whose whimsical dinosaur and artifact illustrations have become just as much of the beer-drinking experience as the beer itself.
Urban Artifact has teased at a variant or two of Xmas Pickle on social media, but due to the serious time constraint of launching Pickle twice within a six-month period—and during a pandemic—the team hopes to keep the excitement on the new production season and the updated packaging.
Starting this week, you can find Xmas Pickle six-packs at local retailers, with the online store and taproom release on November 4th. Check out Urban Artifact’s Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up-to-date on all things Pickle. Now let the holidays begin!