Here it is again, National Beer Day! Some of us would prefer to commemorate this everyday, but temperance dictates otherwise. Boardwalk Food Company can think of no better way to celebrate this fun tradition, on April 7th, then to grab a beer and some of our beer-crafted pretzels to enjoy during a nice evening snacking and drinking with friends.
First, we thought we’d share some cool information about the history of pretzels as well as how they survived near extinction during the Prohibition Era.
Some claim that pretzels (tangled bread originally) go back to medieval Europe in at least some form. By the 17th century, the Swedes began to use pretzels as part of “tying the knot” at their wedding ceremonies, but we believe pretzels began to resemble their modern familiarity around the 1860s. That’s when the German baker, Julian Sturgis, invented the first hard pretzels.
It wasn’t long after that pretzels found their way into male-only saloons amid the American Civil War, thus beginning the delightful pretzel/beer tradition.
Fast forward to the Prohibition Era, which was also a time when American sentiment toward the Germans was less than convivial. Just as the government was outlawing beer, pretzels fell under scrutiny as well. The LA Times dubbed them “too German to be taken seriously.”
That was about a year before the 18th Amendment banned alcohol. The pretzel market took a corresponding hit, too. However, just as bar patrons balked at Prohibition, so they did as well toward the anti-pretzel propaganda.
The fact was that folks loved pretzels and beer and weren’t going to part with them over politics. Once people discovered the joy of boot-legging alcohol into speakeasies, pretzel sales suddenly rebounded also. This was particularly true in Pennsylvania, where we still get 80% of the country’s pretzels (especially in the traditionally German city of Pittsburgh). The arrival of the automatic pretzel maker in 1935 was a huge contributor to this surge in growth.
So, there you have it. Yet another lesson on how you can’t keep good food (or beer) down for long. Both pretzels and beer have occupied a warm place in American hearts, which is why it only makes sense to enjoy them together during National Beer Day.
Boardwalk Pretzels invites you to check out our four tasty beer-crafted pretzel varieties. We make pretzels flavored after Pilsners, IPAs, Stouts, and Beer Cheese.
Are you new to our products and not sure which to try first? Then why not grab a combo pack and sample a little bit of each (4 bags of pretzels for $20). Plus, we hope to expand into even more options soon, so stay tuned and feel free to contact us with any questions about our tasty products.
Happy National Beer Day!