How the Mighty Pretzel Survived Prohibition

How the Mighty Pretzel Survived Prohibition


No matter where you wet your whistle, it is no secret that pretzels are the undisputed, perfect, bar room snack.  However, it wasn’t always the case. 

Craft bears and home-brew kits are a niche hobby for beer lovers and salty pretzel enthusiasts today, but in the early 1900s it was a necessity. 

In the 1870s the number of taverns, saloons and pubs soared.  As large brewery companies began shipping beyond local townships, German immigrants and their families delivered the best beers across the United States.  As the market become saturated, local establishments needed a way to compete and bring in patrons. 

Although most of these places did not offer full menus, they did understand people stayed longer if they had salty snacks to enjoy.  Hard pretzels were sold by the barrels and pretzel companies couldn’t keep up until the local brewhouses dried up.

In 1919 when prohibition was ratified, pretzel makers struggled to find an alternative to pair with pretzels, until crafty Americans started home brewing.

By 1920, H.B. McNeil – Pittsburgh’s largest pretzel company started to report an increase in pretzel sales.  As pretzels grew in independence from beers, the pretzel stick was born.  By 1935, pretzels became a symbol of American food heritage despite the German ancestry.

The pretzel not only survived prohibition, it thrived.

Today, Pretzels.com offers so many pretzel flavor combinations to this traditional snack, you can pair it with just about anything.  Grab a few of our unique pretzels today!

Shop Now >

You May Also Like

Best Drink Pairings With Pretzels
Everyone knows that pretzels are a perfect companion for beer. So much so that it was the go-to bar food before the prohibition era. But beer isn’t the only this that pretzels go great with. Here’s a short list of...
READ ARTICLE
3 Pretzel Desserts You Got To Try for Thanksgiving
There’s something about the salty goodness of a pretzel that goes so well with sweet desserts. It’s a combination you can’t beat. Salty & sweet desserts have been making the rounds since before the internet and the classic pretzel has...
READ ARTICLE
Pretzel History: The Automated Pretzel Machine
The pretzel has always been a simple thing to make, though as popularity rose, demand had to find a way to keep up. With more and more people wanting to snack on pretzels, it was bound for innovation to be...
READ ARTICLE