If you’ve ever stopped by your favorite watering hole for a beverage or two, or at least watched a television program that takes place at a bar, you might have noticed an abundance of pretzels served alongside the sudsy beverages. In case you’ve ever wondered why we’ve decided to provide you with some answers.
The easiest answer is this—salt. The salt found in pretzels and peanuts enhanced the flavor of the hops in some beers and provides a noticeable flavor contrast to beers that are less hoppy—such as your domestic beers like Budweiser, PBR, and Miller. Sodium chloride, the chemical name for salt, actually weakens the senses that perceive bitter flavors. Beer goes down easier, and even the most bitter of flavors can seem appealing to our diminished senses.
It’s best to pick a beer that compliments the taste of a doughy and toasty knot. Your best option is a classic German beer. Pilsner beers that are bright and hoppy pair the best with pretzels, and if you can find a batch that’s softer than the ones commonly sold in bags, then you’ll be sure to have a wonderful drinking experience.
If the only option you have for food is a big bowl of pretzels, dig in. However, we advise that you also find a tall, cool, glass of water to wash down the excess salt that you’ll be consuming throughout the evening. This will also help prevent that pesky hangover the next morning.
There is of course an ulterior motive for bars offering free pretzels throughout the evening. Salt is a chemical that causes thirst because of Sodium Chloride’s dehydrating properties. Naturally, this means you’ll order more drinks throughout the evening. As we said before, having some water handy is always a good idea.
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