Pickles with rye whiskey, pickles with hops (a cocreation with Dogfish Head ale), pickled asparagus with lavender, pickled chipotle carrots… They’re just the tip of the pickling iceberg for Shamus Jones, owner and pickler-in-chief of Brooklyn Brine, the company he began in 2009.
With its brown paper label sporting a line-drawn barrel, Brooklyn Brine may be nostalgic in its presentation, but it is sustainable and experimental in its approach, working with regional organic farms and throwing together unexpected ingredients (like maple syrup and bourbon) to achieve small-batch pickle perfection.
Since Jones, a former chef, launched Brooklyn Brine with a New York deli-style pickle, he’s vastly increased the variety and availability of his products, which are now available not only at specialty food markets in several states but also at larger outlets, such as Whole Foods stores and the company’s own storefront in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Jones and company are also branching into the food biz, with the newly opened bar and sandwich joint Pickle Shack in Brooklyn’s edgy Gowanus neighborhood.
The success so far, says Jones, is easily attributable to the obsession he shares with his team: “We are pickle nerds…every one of us.”