In the 2015 Indiana Challenge, Rob Carmack of Indiana Pickle Company won the grand prize for the Startup category:
“Win or lose, the advice you receive from some of the top food people in the city is invaluable. You can take that advice and build the foundation of your company on that. The seed money bought my labels, first batch of jars and I actually had product to sell because of that.”
Rob’s idea was to pickle products using local beer and spirits, adapted from an old family pickle recipe. He had a love of anything pickled, and as a child thought nothing was better than Mom’s pickles straight from the whiskey Barrel. Finding it hard to find pickles that came from whiskey barrels now, he started experimenting, adding a hint of whiskey to pickle recipes. Friends and family loved them.
One night a friend asked if he could add a local beer flavor to a pickle, and he thought, why not? So he started to develop a recipe using beer in place of the whisky. He came up with a spicy Sun King Wee Mac pickle, a delicious pickled cucumber with the undeniable flavor of the beer. He started using other local brews, Triton Brewing Company’s IPA pickled beets, Uplands Wheat Ale pickled asparagus, New Day Sweet Cider pickles.
He feels the sky is the limit with so many fine and tasty local brews to choose from, and each pickle has the flavor of the beer or spirit.