Auntie Anne's Is Celebrating Oktoberfest In The Best Way

When you're doing some early Christmas shopping and find yourself hungry while power-lifting shopping bags, you might turn to the mall food court for a quick snack. And some might argue that there's no better pick-me-up than a fresh, buttery, soft pretzel and a cup of ice cold lemonade from Auntie Anne's. With pretzels covered in salt, cinnamon, pepperoni, and even wrapped around little hot dogs, Auntie Anne's certainly has made a name for itself in the world of soft pretzels. But have you ever thought, "I wish Auntie Anne's made a beer to go with all these pretzels?" 

According to PR Newswire, Auntie Anne's has teamed up with Evil Genius Beer Company to release Auntie Anne's first-ever beer. Designed as a way to combine an "authentic Oktoberfest experience" with the pretzel company's famous soft pretzels, "Is Butter a Carb?" is a lager-style beer brewed with imported German hops and, oddly enough, "fresh-baked Auntie Anne's soft pretzels." Auntie Anne's describes the beer as having a "a rich malt backbone balanced by delicate hop character," alongside a 'prominent toasty flavor profile that is rounded out with pleasant salinity." Presumably, "Is Butter a Carb" wants you to feel like you just drank a beer and had a bite of Auntie Anne's pretzels all in the same sip.

But why celebrate Oktoberfest with beer and pretzels anyway? 

What do pretzels and beer have to do with Oktoberfest?

In stereotypical cartoonish images of Oktoberfest, you usually see a pigtailed girl in traditional German dress known as "dirndl" holding a tray of beer or a large man in lederhosen eating a giant pretzel. Stereotypes aside, why exactly does Oktoberfest celebrate with beer and soft pretzels to begin with?

The story of Oktoberfest actually began as a massive wedding party of sorts (per TIME). In October of 1810, Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, and the resulting two-week celebration of drinking, feasts, and horse racing became Oktoberfest. According to Eater, however, beer became more popular with the festival as time went on, with simple beer tents becoming supported by big-name German breweries who use the festival to show off their pure German beer

As for pretzels, The Spruce Eats explains that pretzels, being a popular snack in Germany and America, actually have two varieties in Germany — the crunchy, spindly Swabia-style pretzel and the soft, thick Bavarian-style pretzel. Perhaps the classic Bavarian soft pretzel gained popularity in Oktoberfest thanks to the marriage of the Bavarian Crown Prince, or perhaps it was because pretzels encouraged people to drink more due to their salt, meaning beer tents could sell more beer.

Even if you can't make it to Munich this year, per the press release, Auntie Anne's "Is Butter a Carb?" will be available on August 15 only in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.