Branch & Bone Artisan Ales,  905 Wayne Ave., will celebrate the release of its new beer Pretzel Queen on Dec. 19. The beer is the result of a partnership with Smales Pretzel Bakery, nearby at 210 Xenia Ave. CONTRIBUTED

Iconic Dayton pretzel now has its own beer 

One of Dayton’s most iconic businesses has teamed up with one of its newest to honor a Gem City queen.

Branch & Bone Artisan Ales, 905 Wayne Ave., released its new beer Pretzel Queen back in December. 

The beer is the result of a partnership with Smales Pretzel Bakery, nearby at 210 Xenia Ave.

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Pretzels were mixed in with the grains that make the brew, a beer-like beverage made with bread. 

“The pretzel was a natural fit, and everyone knows Smales in Dayton,” Smith said. 

Emma Smales, the bakery’s fifth-generation owner, said she looks forward to trying the beer named for her great-grandmother and namesake Emma Smales.

The first Emma Smales was known as Em, Emmy and “Pretzel Queen.”

Emma Smales, the fifth generation owner of Smales Pretzel Bakery, credits her great grandmother - Emma "Pretzel Queen" Smales - with modernizing the pretzel shop. Branch & Bones Ale and Smales have collaborated on a new beer, Pretzel Queen. Emma Smales, also called Emmy and Em, is pictured on the far right.
Photo: Emma Smales

“I think it is the perfect example of why Dayton is so amazing. This 112-year-old company and this less than a year old company can come together and collaborate,” Smales said. 

  >> 5th generation takes over at Smales Pretzel Bakery

Branch & Bone opened about six months ago. 

Smales was founded by German native Rudie Schaaf in 1895 and refined by his daughter, the first Emma Smales.

“When she took over from my great-great-grandfather (Rudie Schaaf), the business was in shambles,” Emma Smales said. “I really credit her for the modern version of what we are today.” 

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Though their lifetimes did not cross — the first Emma Smales died before her great-granddaughter was born — Emma Smales told this news organization she feels like she knows her great-grandmother and feels her spirit in the shop. 

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“She loved that pretzel bakery and was in it well until her 80s up until her death. 

She also loved beer,” Emma Smales said. “She would always yell at people not to stretch the pretzels. They couldn’t kick her out of the bakery.” 

Smith said he started experimenting with a Kvass (the Russian word for "leaven”) as a home brew before Branch & Bones opened. 

Leftover bread is used to create the beer-like brew that the American Homebrewer Association says has a “slightly sour tartness.”  

Emma Smales, the fifth generation owner of Smales Pretzel Bakery, credits her great grandmother - Emma "Pretzel Queen" Smales - with modernizing the pretzel shop. Branch & Bones Ale and Smales have collaborated on a new beer, Pretzel Queen.
Photo: Emma Smales

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Smith likened it to “liquid bread” and Gose-style beers. 

The beer will be sold at Branch & Bone for $5.50 to $6 while supplies last. It is also available at a select group of other local businesses.

The Smales collaboration is not the only one Smith has in mind.

“I’ve got a couple more plans,” he said. 

Emma Smales, the fifth generation owner of Smales Pretzel Bakery, credits her great grandmother - Emma "Pretzel Queen" Smales - with modernizing the pretzel shop. Branch & Bones Ale and Smales have collaborated on a new beer, Pretzel Queen. Emma Smales, also called Emmy and Em, is pictured .
Photo: Emma Smales

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