Don’t be salty! National Pretzel Day is April 26th—a time where people across the country celebrate all things pretzel. This doughy, twisted treat has been enjoyed since the Middle Ages. According to legend, Italian monks first invented the pretzel as a reward for pious village children. It didn’t arrive in America until the 18th century by German immigrants settling in Pennsylvania.
Today, the pretzel is considered an American staple in fairs, ballparks, and especially German Biergartens. Pretzels pair excellently with cold German ales and lagers. So to help you celebrate National Pretzel Day, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite beers to pair with pretzels.
Soft Pretzels and Mustard with Dark Lagers or Bocks
Our top pick to go with a pretzel and mustard is Praga Dark Lager. A pretzel with mustard is going to have some tang and unabashed spiciness. You want a dark lager or a bock that will be able to hold up to that on the palate to cut through some of the mustard’s vinegar flavor. Praga Dark lager has a clean, yet bold flavor with balanced hops that’ll do just the trick.
Classic Soft Pretzels and a German Märzen, or Vienna Bocks
A Märzen or (Märzenbier) is a Bavarian lager, with a medium to full body. It’s toasted malt flavor profile, play well off of the crisp, outer skin of a traditional soft pretzel. Our pick is Weltenburger’s 1050. A good old Sam Adams Boston lager is a close runner-up for best pairing with a classic soft pretzel.
Pretzels with Cheddar Cheese and IPAs or Brown Ales
There are so many different types of cheese out there you could pair with pretzels, so we’ll focus on the most common—cheddar. If you want to go for tastes that compliment one another, go for a brown ale. If you are going for contrast, and our personal favorite, then go for an IPA. The hoppiness will perk up your palate in between bites of the cheesy pretzel.
We hope you enjoy celebrating National Pretzel Day! If beer pairings still have you tied up in knots, then stop by your local Spec’s and ask the friendly staff for a great recommendation.