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Eat & Drink

Toronto brewery collaborates to make dill pickle beer

Posted by Ben Johnson / June 8, 2014

Dill Hole IPAFor the upcoming Collaboration Nation competition at the Session Craft Beer Festival, Ontario brewers have been paired with "personalities" to make a collaborative beer. Spearhead has joined forces with Sam Roberts, Beau's All Natural is brewing a gruit beer with Margaret Atwood, and, for some reason, Toronto's own Great Lakes Brewery, the company that just won Canadian Brewery of the Year for the second straight year, has teamed up with yours truly. How could I refuse?

And so I recently traveled to the brewery in Etobicoke and spent the day with head brewer Mike Lackey, brewing a unique beer in hopes of taking down the likes of Atwood, Roberts, et al. The beer, prominently featuring dill and aptly named Dill Hole IPA, came as a result of me wanting to combine my love of dill pickle chips and IPAs and as a result of Lackey being up to the challenge.

The brew featured a mostly two-row pale malt profile, citra and sorachi ace hops, pink Himalayan salt, and a generous addition of both dried and fresh dill.

Dill Hole IPA will debut on June 13th and 14th at Collaboration Nation--a festival-goer judged competition wherein the winner will earn their beer a spot at the LCBO at the Session Craft Beer Festival. Last year Beau's won with Tom Green and a milk stout and The Tom Green Beer is now on LCBO shelves. (For the record: I don't have any monetary interest in the success of this beer, I'm just along for the ride).

Reactions to the idea of a dill beer have been decidedly mixed thus far but if the smell of this thing when it went in to the fermenter is any indication, it's going to be damn good. Officially, I'm hopefully optimistic about our chances. Unofficially, Margaret Atwood is going down.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. Follow him on twitter @Ben_T_Johnson.



iSkyscraper / June 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm
Sheer genius, and hyperlocal too -- the Canadian palette is not terribly distinct but damned if we don't crave our dill pickle chips and white vinegar on everything. Go for it.

Pants Go Brown / June 9, 2014 at 12:02 am
Ass flavoured beer anyone?
Chaz / June 9, 2014 at 09:33 am
Makes sense. The most popular hipster drink in NYC right now is the Pickle Back a shot of bourbon or Jameson Irish Whiskey followed by a shot of pickle brine.
No Pants Party replying to a comment from Pants Go Brown / June 9, 2014 at 09:46 am
Pickles rule, pants drool.
INeed / June 9, 2014 at 01:30 pm
How do I get this in me? Seriously I want and will pay good money!!
Tonytreehouse / June 9, 2014 at 09:32 pm
Time to go back to Europe, where they enjoy Real food and drink.
I agree ..Ass-flavoured beer, anyone?
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