Hands on with Pipeworks’ pastrami flavored beer

Colin Joliat

We’ve all had a liquid lunch before, but none quite like Pipeworks’ Pastrami on Rye. It’s everything you love about a pastrami sandwich with all the alcohol you wish the deli served.

The craft beer world is packed with horrible names. Then along comes Pipeworks, whose beer names are either entertaining like Ninja vs. Unicorn or informative like Pastrami on Rye. While it could just seem like word play, the latter actually describes the beer incredibly well. If you hate pastrami, you might as well stop reading now. You also might consider adjusting your priorities in life.

Pastrami on Rye is brewed with two different kinds of rye malt plus cherrywood smoked malt, giving it an amazingly unmistakable rye bread flavor. I’m not in this for rye bread though. I’m here to have lunch, and Pipeworks pulled that off to perfection.


The real beauty of Pastrami on Rye is that all of the spices used to cure pastrami are steeped in the boiling wort. That includes Tellicherry black peppercorns, mustard seed, coriander, red pepper flake, allspice berries, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves, dry ginger and caraway. It’s nearly a full spice cabinet all in one beer. They all play nicely together, with none standing out more than the rest, giving it a genuine pastrami flavor. It has almost a cola taste to it as well, which is good for washing down your beer sandwich.

There is a distinct increase in the smoked malt presence as the beer warms, so patience can be a virtue. It helps to round out the beer and creates a little better balance between the spice and smoke. I’m not suggesting drinking it room temperature, but giving it a few minutes after the pour certainly adds a nice touch.

At 8.5% ABV, Pipeworks Pastrami on Rye could be considered a single bottle liquid lunch. The 22oz boomber has the same amount of alcohol as 3.7 Bud Lights though, so your afternoon productivity might drastically decrease. Just don’t tell your boss.