Pumpkin Beer Pretzels (With 2 Dipping Sauces)

September 8, 2011



It’s starting. The most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas. Pumpkin season. I even mixed pumpkin puree into my oatmeal yesterday. Yes, I stockpiled about 6 cans from last year just in case it was tough to find in stores this autumn (like you don’t remember the great pumpkin drought of 2009? Nightmare). But it really is the most wonderful time of the year because, while it’s pumpkin season, my basil plant is still flourishing, summery fruits and veggies are still available, and it really is the best of both seasons. I’m slightly confused, but mainly happy.

I first made soft pretzels back when Chels and I had our Orville Redenbacher Oscar’s party. I didn’t blog them because, well, I was trying to throw a party and am not good at photographing each step of a recipe when I’m also trying to do 8392 other things. Basically I’m the worst party thrower ever. I’ve been wanting to make soft pretzels again ever since, but this time with a twist. Beer pretzels are better than regular old pretzels. And if you’re going to make beer pretzels, you may as well make pumpkin beer pretzels! See my logic there? This is how my brain works from September-November.

I also made two dipping sauces because I couldn’t decide if I wanted mustard with my pretzels or a sweet dipping sauce. Instead of deciding, I made a pumpkin beer mustard and a sweet pumpkin dip and alternated bites.

‘Tis the season. Embrace it with all your heart. Ready, set, go!

Pumpkin Beer Pretzels (makes 12 pretzels):
Print this recipe!

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 t)
  • 1/2 C warm water, plus 2 C warm water
  • 1/2 T sugar
  • 1/2 t fine sea salt
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 C pumpkin beer of your choice
  • 3-4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-3 T coarse salt
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • Dipping sauces (see below)

(pre-heat oven to 425 degrees)


I chose to use Southern Tier’s Pumking because it’s one of my all-time favorite pumpkin ales.


In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over your 1/2 cup of warm water. Let rest for about 5 minutes.


Then stir in sugar, salt, and olive oil. Pour in the beer. It will get all kinds of frothy as it reacts with the yeast already in the bowl. It was kind of fun to watch, but then, I’m easily entertained.


With a wooden spoon, stir the flour in one cup at a time. You don’t want your dough to be too sticky, but you don’t want it to be too dry either. I started by adding 3 cups of flour (you can always add more in as you knead it. Or need it. Hehe).


Now, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 8 minutes. Or you can throw it in your mixer with the dough hook for about 3 minutes and save your muscles that work. As I kneaded my dough in the mixer, it started getting sticky, so I ended up adding another 3/4 C flour in.

Once you’re done kneading, place your dough into a lightly oiled bowl.


Place bowl in a warm spot, cover with a kitchen towel, and let sit for about an hour to rise.

When you come back to it, it will likely look something like this:


Punch the dough down and you’re ready to form the pretzels! Start by dividing the dough into 12 balls, so you can make sure your pretzels will all be relatively the same size.


Take one dough ball and roll it into a rope, like so:


Shape the rope into a pretzel by forming into a “u.”


And crossing one end down.


Followed by the other end.


Now, mix your remaining 2 C warm water with 1 t baking soda in a baking pan or other shallow dish. Dip the formed pretzels in. And then place on a greased baking sheet.


Continue with the remaining dough balls.


Cover with a kitchen towel again and let rise for another 20 minutes.

Now brush each pretzel lightly with beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse salt.


Pop in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.


Right when they come out of the oven, brush them with a little melted butter and let cool.

Now for the dipping sauces, which you can make ahead of time if you choose. In fact, you should make the mustard ahead of time because it needs to sit for a bit. While I was doing my mustard research (right before I started baking the pretzels), I realized that the mixture was supposed to sit for a day or two before processing. Um, oops. I decided to just make my own mixture on my own terms. The pumpkin beer mustard I made ended up coming out wonderfully. It was super strong (likely because the flavors didn’t have time to mellow), but what’s the point of mustard if it’s not strong? I loved it!

Pumpkin Beer Mustard (makes about 3/4 C):

  • 1/2 C yellow mustard seed
  • 3/4 C pumpkin beer of your choice
  • 1/8 C apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg


In a medium bowl, mix together mustard seed, pumpkin beer, and apple cider vinegar. Put in fridge for about 2 hours (or up to 2 days) to marinate.


Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until the mustard seeds are ground and the mixture thickens.


Whoa! I couldn’t believe it went from looking like a brown liquid to a thick yellow mustard, all from a little processing. Pop it back in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. If you let it sit for a day or two, the flavors will begin to mellow.


I had briefly considered adding a cinnamon sugar mixture to my pretzels, but wasn’t certain I wanted them to be sweet over savory, so I refrained. Instead, I decided to make a sweet pumpkin dip. This is basically the easiest dip in the world. I used fat free sour cream in mine, but definitely would have used plain Greek yogurt if I had any on hand.

Sweet Pumpkin Dip (makes about 1 C):

  • 1/2 C pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C fat free sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t nutmeg


I told you this one was easy. Just mix all the ingredients together and put in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.


Your pretzels are ready. Your two dips are ready. And you’re ready to dig in. With the extra beer on the side, obviously. Not my fault the Southern Tier bottles are so big!


You obviously don’t have to make both dips, but if you’re horribly indecisive like me, you might want to.


I literally tore off a piece or pretzel and dipped it in the mustard.


And tore off another piece and dipped it in the sweet pumpkin dip.


And could not have been happier. But then, I really enjoy weird food combinations.

The pretzels themselves are actually pretty fabulous without the dips. The pumpkin beer taste was not overwhelming at all and was more of just an essence. The pretzels were soft, chewy, salty, and everything a soft pretzel is meant to be.


You could certainly make these pretzels even more pumpkin-y (yes, it’s a word) by adding cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg to the mix, if you want to go for a sweeter pretzel. You could even mix in pumpkin puree. There’s something about pumpkin and pretzels that just works. And beer. Always beer.


With football season starting, these would be the perfect game time snack. I’m not a huge football lover, but when there’s good food involved, I’m always in, so I’m planning to develop some more fabulous game time snacks this season.

OK, time for me to go have my pumpkin oatmeal breakfast. I told you, when I go in, I go all in.

Favorite Pumpkin Recipes on We are not Martha:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Pumpkin Pie Martini
Cranberry Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
Pumpkin Chicken Tacos
Pumpkin Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Spinach
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Chicken Potpie in a Pumpkin
Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies
Pumpkin Fudge
Pumpkin-Chocolate-Chip Squares
Pumpkin Quinoa Parfait
Pumpkin Pie Bars
Molasses Ginger Cookies with Sweet Pumpkin Dip

Has pumpkin season started for you or are you waiting until the official start of fall?



Gap Jeans Giveaway Winner!

The winner of last week’s Gap jeans giveaway is Lauren from Keep It Sweet! Congrats, Lauren; I’ll email you ASAP to get your contact info 🙂

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42 Responses to "Pumpkin Beer Pretzels (With 2 Dipping Sauces)"

  1. As if homemade pretzels could even GET better. This is ingenious! Love the dips!

  2. oh man… these may be the best beer pretzels i’ve ever seen.

  3. Erica says:

    Hearttttt pumpkin! These look freaking amazing. I want to try the mustard alone!

  4. Yum! Those pretzels look so perfect on a cold and dreary day like today.

  5. Maria says:

    Yum! These are perfect for fall!

  6. Claudia says:

    Oh my, yes, yes! This goes to my pretzel loving heart – and with the mustard sauce – I am savory these days! (But not cooking with pumpkin yet – still savoring summer even if the Halloween decor is up!)

  7. Lexi says:

    oh these sound so fun! I am throwing a beer tasting birthday party next weekend, so I may make these!

  8. Monique says:

    gorgeous! i just bought a bunch of yeast- because now that its not hot as balls i will be baking to stay warm!
    these pretzels look fab.
    I have tried that pumpkin ale- it was totally skunk from where i bought it- wanna try it again !

  9. Chris says:

    The king of pumpkin beer and pretzels! So awesome. Southern Tier should throw this up on their site.

  10. I cannot wait to make these – perfect intro to fall!

  11. Michelle says:

    My new favorite liquor store has an ENTIRE section devoted to pumpkin beers. LOVE!

  12. Bethany says:

    Woah, I’ve added pumpkin to just about everything over the years…except pretzels. Definitely trying this out this weekend, thanks!

  13. Victoria says:

    Making homemade pretzels is too much fun! I love this variation and your amazing dipping sauces 🙂

  14. Haley says:

    Sometimes I look at your photos + think ‘there’s no way she made those… they’re way too perfect’.


    PS: pumpkin = LOVE!

  15. queena lewis says:

    “I’ve been wanting to make soft pretzels again ever since, but this time with a twist.”

    No pun intended? 😉

  16. Courtney says:

    Pumking is my favorite pumpkin beer! So good!! Great Choice! Now I’ll have to try these.

  17. A few things: 1. Pumpkin season really IS the most wonderful time of the year! 2. I remember the pumpkin drought very well, as I was not a happy camper. In fact, as the hubs can attest, I was downright pissed off for a while. 3. Southern Tier Pumking is my FAVORITE beer ever! 4. These pretzels look ah-mazing :). Well done!

  18. Reeni says:

    My heart is open and ready for all things pumpkin! Your pretzels are so puffy and perfect! I love the idea of making it into a sweet version.

  19. You’ve got me hungry for these pretzels now! I love pumpkin time too- I have a long neck pumpkin sitting on my kitchen table right now, just waiting for me to do something with it. Thanks for that great list of pumpkin links! 🙂

  20. I’ve never made pretzels, but these look great!

  21. Christina says:

    Pumpkin season is in full swing for me. I’ve bought my pumpkin spice coffee from Fresh Market and had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season today. I’m definitely adding these pretzels to the rotation!

  22. I absolutely love these! Ever since the pumpkin shortage I stock up on pumpkin whenever I get the chance.

  23. I’m still waiting patiently for fall. We are all excited around these parts because it’s actually only supposed to be 99-100 degrees today!!! WOOHOO!!! 🙂
    I stopped by because I saw a post that said two sauces.. I love me some sauces!! But then, I saw these pretzels and I think I’ll stop by your house now!! lol

  24. brandi says:

    yes, please! are you bringing these over this weekend? 🙂

    that mustard sounds so delicious!

  25. Kelly says:

    I so love the sound of these. I love that you carried the flavors of pumpkin throughout. Nice job!

  26. Whaaaaaaaaaaat. This is amazing because it combines all of my favorite things. Now, if there was bacon in there somewhere, this would be perfect!

  27. i wasnt sure if it was pumpkin or beer that you put in the recipe until i saw the picture and realized it was both- a pumpkin beer! haha its quite the evil/rebellious looking pumpkin on the label btw- probably a sign that its scarily good? 🙂

    kudos for the thickness of these pretzels- bet they are so soft with the right amount of chewy texture. so sad im so far away to steal one… and some of the delicious dips too!

    xoxo <3

  28. Telebrands says:

    These pumpkin beer pretzels sound wonderful. What a great treat for the forthcoming Autumn months.

  29. We just saw some pumpkin ale the other day and wondered what you’d do with it and thankfully I just got my answer! Woot!

  30. Holly says:

    Oh I could not agree more! So happy pumpkin season is here!! Love love love the sound of these pretzels!! Mmmmm

  31. Susan says:

    We love pretzels and beer here in Wisconsin 🙂 Sadly, I haven’t tried making pretzels at home but these sound fantastic with the pumpkin beers (which I also have never tasted!).

  32. newlywed says:

    These look amazing! Love the index of pumpkin recipes too…yum!

  33. oh, pumpkin season has SO started for me already 🙂 these look great!

  34. Pumpkin beer pretzels sound excellent especially with the pumpkin dip!

  35. Mallory says:

    Ahhh-mazing. Best looking pretzels ever, I thought to myself “all it needs is a seasonal beer” and scrolling down you had one 🙂

  36. i have yet to try pumpkin beer, or make my own pretzels–or combine the two!!! ahh

  37. Eileen says:

    Gotta try these. They look like I might be able to make them a bit bigger and have something similar to pretzel rolls used in wonderful sandwiches we got in Germany at Rhein mein air base. Thanks! Have a great day

  38. Kelsey says:

    This is going on my fall baking list. I shared this link when you first posted this on our Facebook and it got many likes.

  39. Meghan says:

    You guys keep rockin’ it with the craft beer! Would it be ok if we featured this recipe next week? I’m trying to only post recipes that use pumpkin beer in October.

    The White Beer Cookies we posted earlier this year were a hit! Thanks again for letting us feature that one!


  40. Sues says:

    @Meghan- Yes! You can definitely feature this recipe 🙂 It’s a fun one!

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