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Grilled Bratwurst with Onions and Beer Pretzels Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: German


Grilled bratwurst, caramelized beer onions, and fresh homemade beer pretzel buns made and served with Festbier lager. The ultimate Oktoberfest-themed bite.



Bratwurst and Onions

  • 8 bratwurst
  • 1/2 cup Untold Brewing ‘Festbier’ (Märzen or Vienna Lager also works)
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Yellow or dijon mustard for serving

Pretzel Rolls

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm Festbier (around 100°F)
  • 1 packet instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, leveled
  • coarse sea salt or kosher salt for sprinkling

Baking Soda Bath

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 9 cups water


For the pretzels

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yeast and warm beer (microwave beer for 30 seconds to warm then add yeast). Let rest for 1 minute. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of melted butter and salt.
  2. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon or dough hook/stand mixer until thick. Add an additional 3/4 cup of flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour 1/4 cup at a time as needed. If the dough bounces back when pressed, it’s ready to knead.
  3. Move the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a large greased bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm environment (1oo°F). The best tip I’ve read is to preheat the oven to 175-200°F, shut the oven OFF and place the dough in the oven.
  4. After an hour, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and press down to release the air. Reshape into a cylinder and use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 8 uniform dough balls. Shape into oval loaves.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring 1/2 cup baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.
  6. Drop the loaves into the water bath (4 at a time) for 20-30 seconds each. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess water to drip. Arrange on a large greased baking sheet. All 8 should fit on a standard baking sheet.
  7. Using a sharp knife, score each loaf lengthwise. Brush the top of each with melted butter (2 tablespoons should do) and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until deep golden brown all over.

For the bratwurst and onions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-low heat and clean the grates well. Cook sausage for 10-12 minutes, rotating as needed to ensure an even golden sear all the way around. Sausage should be cooked to an internal temp of 160°F. Ramp up the grill temp towards the end if you prefer a crispier exterior.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. Once melted, add onions, season all over with salt and pepper, and cook until they just start to soften and the edges brown. Add Festbier just to fill the bottom of the pan. Simmer until onions are golden and tender and the beer has been reduced. About 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to overheat and burn. Add more beer as needed.
  3. Slice pretzel rolls like a hotdog bun (don’t cut all the way through). Add bratwurst and top with onions. Drizzle all over with yellow or dijon mustard. Serve with a chilled Festbeir and enjoy.


If you don’t have access to Untold, you can pair and make this recipe with your favorite Festbier, Märzen, Vienna Lager, or American IPA.

The pretzel recipe can also be made with water instead of beer if you prefer. Pretzels can be made 1-2 days in advance and are best kept in a sealed airtight container to maintain softness. Warm up on the grill before serving!

The secret to the perfect onions is to use medium-low heat and not rush the process. Beer speeds up the tenderizing process and also prevents burning.

Bratwurst can also be cooked in a skillet if you don’t have a grill. Cook on medium-low heat to prevent burning. Rotate frequently until fully cooked through.

Keywords: oktoberfest recipes, bratwurst recipes, beer brats, bratwurst and beer