You’ve heard all about wine and cheese pairings, but what about craft beer and pretzel pairings?
We’re not talking about those small, crunchy numbers that you can eat by the handful, but rather, savory beauties the size of your face. These quarter pound creations each come with their own custom sauce, and luckily for Flyway Brewing fans, they’re now on the menu.
From early on the guys behind the brewery knew they wanted a food concept, and co-owner Jess McMullen will tell you he’s been perfecting the flavor profiles for over a year now. He says, “There was one time when there were so many different salts that we made, we were bloated from trying them all.”
Luckily, the initial testing stage is over and the current line-up includes: Lavender Salt Pretzel with Honey Mustard, Bacon Salt Pretzel with Hickory Mustard, Sriracha Salt Pretzel with Madras Mustard, Espresso Salt Pretzel with Stout Chocolate Sauce, and, of course, the House-Salted Pretzel with Creole Mustard.
The pretzels include something for every craving, from bacon to Sriracha to chocolate, there’s no doubt in my mind that everyone will find their intended pretzel soul mate. Plus, they’re made in-house.
McMullen says, “The quarter pound pretzels are all made from scratch. … it’s a recipe that we developed. It’s definitely not cookie-cutter, some are fatter, some are skinnier, but they all weigh a quarter pound.”
Now for the fun part. Each pretzel pairs with a specific Flyway beer. McMullen laughing says, “It’s kind of elementary, but we are doing the salts and sauces specifically to pair with each beer.”
For instance, the Lavender Pretzel pairs with the Migrate Pale Ale – the hops and slight floral notes in that particular brew complement the lavender. All you have to do is top with tangy Honey Mustard and you’re bound to be in heaven.
Most people tend to think Brown Ales are excessively sweet, but the Free Range Brown Ale completes the Bacon Salt Pretzel and Hickory Mustard. The toasty taste of the ale paired with bacon and Hickory Mustard is reminiscent of a slow-roasting barbecue party – in your mouth.
For a hint of spice, opt for the Early Bird IPA and the Sriracha Salt Pretzel with Madras Mustard. You get so many flavors in this one – tangy, spicy and hoppy – which together are very well balanced. Here the mustard brings in a curried flavor, as it’s made with ground mustard seed, and your taste-buds will thank you for giving the combination a try.
Finally, there’s a sweet option with the combination of the Shadow Hands Stout and the Espresso Salt Pretzel and Sweet Chocolate Sauce. The combination is rich and sweet, with a slight kick of coffee in the taste profile. The perfect dessert pretzel, just remember, you don’t have to order it last.
McMullen is extremely excited about the concept and grateful to have an experienced baker on board. He says, “I have some great help in the kitchen, Rachel Moore is helping me, and she is a fantastic baker.”
Moore will play a key part in monthly pretzel specials. McMullen explains, “We just brewed a wheat beer today and she will be making spent grain pretzels and special sauces … she’s really going to take that and run with it.”
I can’t wait to see what crazy, delicious, sweet and savory combinations the team comes up with.
Also be on the lookout for Pretzel Trees, the counterpart to the beer Feathers – aka flights. McMullen says, “You can come in and get a Feather and get a Pretzel Tree and it will have one of each pretzel.”
Good for sharing or indulging, you decide. Catch these quarter pound delights at the Argenta brewery for yourself. Flyway is open Wednesday – Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.