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Kind of a big dill: Half Brothers sells out of pickle beer

Half Brothers has been selling out of Pickle Rickle – a beer infused with the taste of dill pickles – which has become a bit of a fan favorite for the company.

Half Brothers - Pickle Rickle.jpeg
Half Brothers' newest beer Pickle Rickle has been flying off the shelves.

GRAND FORKS — Demand has outgrown supply of Half Brothers Brewing Company’s latest beer experiment, temporarily leaving the company in a bit of a pickle.

Half Brothers has been selling out of "Pickle Rickle," a beer infused with the taste of dill pickles and one that has become a bit of a fan favorite for the company.

“It was probably our fastest moving beer to date,” Half Brothers brewer Chad Gunderson said. “We sold out in our taproom (in) a day. We ended up pulling beer from other markets to make sure that our market was taken care of, and we ended up selling out the rest of that in three days. So, (it was) released Friday, and we were out on Sunday.”

Half Brothers’ first foray into pickle flavor began with a beer called "What’s the Dill Yo?"

“So they're like, ‘We need this in cans. When are you going to make another batch?’” Gunderson said.

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The beer had pickle flavoring in it, but Gunderson said customers wanted a stronger pickle flavor, which led to the company’s next swing at pickle-flavored beer, called "Pickle Rick." When even that did not have enough pickle flavoring, Half Brothers moved to its most recent iteration, "Pickle Rickle," which is brewed with locally sourced pickles from The Toasted Frog, Brick & Barley and other local businesses.

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“I'm not sure where the bright idea came from,” Gunderson said. “It could have been me, or it could have been someone in the brew house, but they're like, ‘The Toasted Frog has to go through a lot (of pickles), right?’ So I reached out to my contact over there, and they're like, ‘Yeah, we just throw the pickles away. You want it?’ And we started collecting (them) over the next couple of months and brewed 'Pickle Rickle' with it.

The morning of Pickle Rickle’s rollout, on Feb. 25, Half Brothers announced the beer’s premiere on the company’s Facebook page.

“And trust us, we already know this won’t be enough pickle for you weirdos,” the post read. “So we’re ready to add more the next time we brew it. Because even though this beer is just now available starting today (on tap and in cans) we can already hear the people proclaiming, once again, “MORE PICKLE!’”

The idea for the pickle-flavored beer itself has been floating around Half Brothers for a few years. Gunderson said with the amount of people who drink light beers in the community, it made sense. Every time he went to a restaurant or bar and canvassed what people were drinking, he kept seeing people drinking domestic beer with a pickle in it.

Gunderson even traces the origins of his interest in it as far back as when he met his wife, about 20 years ago.

“She was a Coors Lite and a pickle,” Gunderson said. “That’s all she drank.”

As for those wanting to try "Pickle Rickle," there may be a bit of a waiting period. The first batch, which sold out the first weekend of its availability, took more than a month to brew.

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“This time, I’m not sure,” Gunderson said. “We’re waiting.”

Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at jholley@gfherald.com.Follow him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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