by Andrew Morrison | Once upon a time (five years ago) I was asked to judge a pickle competition to decide the best pickle in the province. For several days my refrigerator was jammed with mason jars, each one filled with hopeful cukes. I did the tasting and scoring over the course of a single evening. Never in my professional life has my palate endured such a bruising. It was as if I’d shotgunned a can of pickle juice and then chased it with a shot of bear spray. Needless to say the overall experience pretty much put paid to my interest in pickles for a while.
And then I learned that local musician, veteran dishwasher and long-time Scout contributor Sean Orr had gotten into the pickle business. Apparently one night in 2015 he stopped by Gastown’s late night grilled cheese shop Hi-Five and he and proprietor Corben Winfield got to talking about pickles and pickle brands. Sean mentioned ‘Brine Adams’ as the ideal name for a pickle start-up, and much mirth ensued. Fast forward a month later and local film director Murray Siple (of Carts of Darkness fame) got wind of the name and wanted in. They purchased 80 lbs of local, organic cucumbers and set the dream in motion. The first batch quickly sold out, which led them to quadruple production for 2016.
I just enjoyed my first Brine Adams pickle this afternoon (with a grilled gouda and red wine prosciutto sandwich) and it was crunchy and fragrant with a long, pleasantly dilly aftertaste. I’m not sure how it would rank among the best in BC (pretty high, to be honest), but as far as branding goes, you can’t beat ‘Brine Adams’. That’s just awesome. (If you don’t get the joke, it’s a play on ‘Bryan Adams’, the internationally famous musician from Vancouver.)
The gift of a jar of pickles might seem a weird one during the holiday season, but buying local is always good, and so is being entirely original. For sure, these things will weigh down Christmas stockings more deliciously than coal. Buy yours at Hi-Five or the newly opened Federal Store in Mt. Pleasant. Alternatively, hit up the fellows directly via their Facebook page.