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!

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