Like it or not, the holidays are coming. In the blink of an eye, Thanksgiving will be over and the stress of the holiday season will be upon us in full force. In addition to trying to find something unique and special for everyone on your holiday shopping list, we also recommend trying to buy something local for those hard-to-buy-for people in your life. And maybe something pickled, too.
Were you aware that there’s a store in Milwaukee that specializes in pickles and other jarred delights? Well, there is! Out on the 8400 block of Burleigh Street near Mount Mary University sits Brew City Pickles.
Following the success of selling their homemade pickled products at area farmers markets, owners Jessie Avery and Tony Galbari opened a full-fledged physical shop where people can procure their pickled products in the former Bunzel’s Meat Market location at 8415 W. Burleigh St. last December. Wanting to knock some names off our holiday list and have some unique party platter options, we recently paid a visit to this North Side shrine to brine and, well, we wound up just buying a bunch of stuff for ourselves instead.
Honestly, we initially went in wondering how a local pickling operation could possibly stock enough items to necessitate a whole-ass retail store. Our question was answered within an instant of seeing the guy directly above and venturing inside the Brew City Pickles property.
The modest storefront boasts a surprisingly vast selection of salty specialties, sweet treats, drinks, snacks, apparel, toys, and more. The only loose connection most—but not all!—of these items have to each other is the pickle/picked theme.
There’s obviously ample shelf space devoted to jarred-in-house items like giardiniera, salsa, and olives, along with pickled delights like okra, garlic, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, green beans, jalapenos, carrots, and more.
And yeah, there are plenty of pickle varieties and spice levels to choose from.
But there’s also dill pickle popcorn, spicy pickle popcorn, and various other homemade flavors, along with dill pretzels, dill-dusted peanuts, and handcrafted bloody mary mixes.
And curious candies like dill pickle taffy…
As well as pickle cotton candy.
There are dill pickle mints and gummies.
Outside of all those edible dill- and vinegar-forward products, pickle lovers can also find novelties devoted to the food, such as toys and Christmas ornaments.
Even shirts and hats that honor the almighty gherkin.
While much if its shelf space is allocated to Brew City Pickle brand items, owners also make sure to expand their inventory with a wide range of condiments, sauces, craft sodas, honeys, coffee, spreads, bakery goods, and other products from an array of local and regional businesses like Bay View Packing Co., Wild Flour Bakery, Sprecher, Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli, Lakefront Brewery, and more.
There’s a ton to choose from, but if you’re going to a place called “Brew City Pickles,” please make sure to get some pickles while you’re there. Whether you’re doing some holiday shopping or just stocking up your pantry, it’s all about the pickles. It’s always been about the pickles.