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5 Great Ways to Enjoy Picklesburgh

The city’s fourth annual pickle festival will feature more food, more music and even pickle-inspired beers.

photo via flickr creative commons


Picklesburgh, Pittsburgh’s popular pickle festival (try saying that three times fast) is returning this weekend for the fourth year in the row, boasting a new marquee attraction. One of the biggest dills — sorry, deals — of this year’s festival: two new pickle-flavored beers.

Visitors will have more time to hang around the Roberto Clemente Bridge and enjoy those briny beverages and all the other festivities, as Picklesburgh has been extended to three days, running from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

If you’re a big pickle fan, pickle-curious or just need something to do this weekend, we’ve assembled a list of what to do when you arrive at “The Destination for All Things Pickled.

Try Some Pickly Beer

Southern Tier Brewery and Great Lakes Brewery will both introduce new pickle-flavored beers at the festival. According to the Pittsburgh City Paper, the brews aren’t actually pickled; they’re Gose-style beers infused with fresh dill and spices.

Several other local venues will also cater to the festival. McLaughlin Distillery will feature three varieties of pickled moonshine; Warren Bar & Burrow is selling a pickled watermelon margarita. Non-alcoholic pickled beverages will be also be in abundance — Dina Colada Enterprises will be offering pickled bubble tea and pickle smoothies. Pickle-free brews and soft drinks should also be around for those who prefer their beverages free of brine.

Eat Pickles, Of Course

There will be dozens of new and returning vendors at Picklesburgh, so even the pickiest pickle eater will find a dish that satisfies them. Offerings include Asian fare such as Le’s Oriental’s pickle eggrolls and Southern cuisine including Coop DeVille’s pickle brined fried chicken sandwiches. Those with a sweet (and salty) tooth can munch on treats such as Fabulous Homemade Cookies’s peanut butter pickle cookies or Millie’s pickle-flavored ice creams.

Unaccompanied artisanal pickles and pickled products will be sold in abundance by vendors such as Byler’s Relish House and The Brinery at Two Acre Farm. Pickle-themed art, jewelry and more will also be sold by businesses including Just My Art and LinaBags.

Watch People Drink Pickle Juice Really, Really Fast

Pickleburgh’s annual pickle juice drinking contest will be held Saturday afternoon, when 50 competitors will see who can drink a quart of chilled, dill-pickle juice the fastest. Finalists receive a prize package; the overall winner is crowned the Mayor of Picklesburgh and wins $500. The contest is already full, but hopeful competitors can still stop by the Giant Eagle Downtown Sound Stage 10 minutes before each preliminary round to see if any spots have opened.

A special new Champions Round is also being held this year between the three winners of pickle juice drinking contests past — including last year’s champ Fred Smith, who managed to finish off his quart in 8.34 seconds — to prove who’s the thirstiest pickle-lover of them all.

Learn How to Make Your Own Pickles

Numerous pro picklers will show off their skills at Picklesburgh. Demonstrations will include simple pickling recipes such as cucumbers and dilly beans as well as more unusual presentations showing how to pickle sauerkraut and kimchi. Pickling and canning experts, including members of Ferment Pittsburgh, will be on hand to share tips and give talks.

Listen to Some Tunes While You Munch

Every type of pickle will be represented at Picklesburgh — and so will many types of music. More than 20 local artists will grace the Giant Eagle Downtown Sound Stage over the course of the three-day festival. This year’s lineup of performers includes folk and soul-grass band Buffalo Rose, blues and gospel singer Miss Freddye and indie pop band LoFi Delphi. The festival's schedule is packed; just as visitors won’t be able to walk two feet without encountering a pickle, an hour won’t go by where music isn’t playing.

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