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beer pretzels on a white tray with a bowl of cheddar sauce next to it
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4.98 from 40 votes

Tavern Beer Pretzels with Cheddar Sauce

Nothing says comfort food more than fresh pretzels warm out of the oven and a cheddar cheese dipping sauce. Perfect for game day treats or just to treat your family to a special snack. I promise my Tavern Style Beer Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce won't disappoint!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Dough Resting Time1 hr
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: German
Servings: 8
Calories: 515kcal


Beer Pretzel

  • 12 ounces beer heated to 105-110 degrees in microwave
  • teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter melted (½ stick)
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (for greasing bowl)

Boiling Pretzels

  • 10 cups water
  • cup baking soda

Baking Pretzels

  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt or pretzel salt use more or less to your taste

Cheese Sauce

  • cup Cabot's extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese  softened
  • 2 ounces milk
  • 2 ounces beer
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning (optional)


  • In a small saucepan heat the beer to a temperature of 105- 110 degrees F.
    **You can use the microwave instead for about 30 seconds.
  • In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warmed beer. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
    **If the mixture hasn’t foamed, the yeast is dead and you need to try again with new yeast.
  • Mix the flour and sea salt together.
  • Add the melted butter to the beer mixture.
  • Add two-thirds of the flour to the beer mixture and mix the flour until fully incorporated. Add the rest of the flour in and mix well until all the flour has been worked into the dough.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Once the dough has doubled, punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide and shape the dough into 8 balls.
  • Roll each into a 20 - 24-inch rope.
  • Preheat the oven to 450F.
  • To make the iconic pretzel shape, start by forming the rolled out dough into a "U". Cross the two ends over each other twice, leaving a circle at the other end.
    Take the ends and secure them to the bottom of the circle. Place the formed pretzel on a parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet.
    *Keep the pretzels covered with plastic wrap while you repeat with remaining strips of dough.

Boiling Pretzels

  • Add the baking soda to a large pot with the 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Carefully add the pretzels 2 at a time and cook 30 seconds. With a ladle or large spoon get the water over the tops of the pretzels.
    **Carefully remove the pretzels with a slotted spoon or spatula and drain well on a wire rack or paper towels.

Baking Pretzels

  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease the baking sheets with oil. Set aside until needed.
  • After draining for a few minutes, transfer the pretzels to the prepared pans. Brush the pretzels with the egg wash, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt or pretzel salt.
  • Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes, depending upon how you like your pretzels. Allow the pretzels to cool for 5 minutes before eating.
    **I love dark pretzels so I let them go a little longer.

Beer Cheese Sauce

  • Add the beer and milk to a small saucepan. Once the mixture starts to get hot add in the cream cheese. Use a wire whisk to blend the cream cheese into the liquids.
  • Add in the Cabot cheddar, mozzarella, and the optional seasoning.
    *Adding mozzarella to the sauce gives a stretchy quality to the finished cheese sauce.
  • Mix all the ingredients until well blended and remove from the heat.
    *Don't let the cheese sauce get too hot, or it will get grainy.
  • Serve the cheese sauce with the pretzels and enjoy!


  • If the yeast doesn't foam, it is dead, Don’t use it your recipe will fail. 
  • When pressing the two ends of the U to form the pretzel shape, pinch them in with enough force to make them stick together.
  • Don’t over-boil the pretzels.


Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 5308mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 794IU | Calcium: 238mg | Iron: 4mg