bavarian beer cheese pretzel

Everyone knows Stan and I love company when we’re at the beach.  Even before purchasing the condo we’d head down several times a summer – and invite folks with us every time.

We also were known to crash other people’s vacations. Sure, folks may have just been trying to be polite when saying we were welcome to come (as we stared intently at them upon hearing of their impending beach vacation…hawkish stares perhaps even), but we carefully hid any cognizance of such pomp.

We were the ones that would actually show up.

And so it was one gosh-awful-rare-monsoon-rainy-beach-week that we found ourselves crashing our neighbors’ vacation. And it was raining. And raining. And raining.

Not to be out snookered by the rain (after all, everyone gets wet on the beach), we attempted to salvage the beach day by sitting on the beach under our tent. But the steady rain was cold. In July. And it didn’t feel very beachy without the sun. Did I mention it would NOT STOP RAINING?

So our gracious hosts mentioned beer and we were like “YAY” (ok, I was like “YAY” – Stan isn’t much of a beer drinker but he’s a trooper) and they mentioned that, due to all the rain they had incurred prior to our arrival, they had gotten fairly well acquainted with the Hofbräu Beer Garden at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.

Beer???  Garden??? The image lit up my brain with thoughts of rows upon rows of beers just waiting to be picked and cherished.

So off to the garden we went. And proceeded to have one of the most amazing – although wholly unplanned and unexpected – afternoons. The covered patio was large enough to provide shelter from the rain and we sat outside and drank really good beer and people watched (yep, people who apparently don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain – in their defense, the rain had let up to a steady light drizzle). Since our neighbors had been hiding out from the rain all week, they had gotten to know the staff fairly well. The bartender on duty apparently decided we all looked like good guinea pigs and began sending us shots of fruity concoctions he was trying to perfect. (This in no way affected my love for what was to come.)

What was to come? The most wonderful excuse for drinking a decent dunkel: A bavarian beer cheese pretzel. Not just any bavarian beer cheese pretzel (um, ok, maybe – I’ve never actually had one anywhere else), but I can’t imagine any pretzel being better than this one. The pretzel is huge and soft  – served nice and hot out of the oven – with a generous helping of their beer cheese: prepared brie, cream cheese, butter, onions, and their Dunkel Lager. HEAVEN! The pretzel and cheese and beer just hit the spot – I think we ordered like three of them (and they’re huge but oh so good). Nothing like good beer, great food and some good besties with whom to partake!

And so, an afternoon was saved, and the beer garden became a must-do on my list whenever I get the opportunity (just not during sunshine hours in the spring, summer or fall). 

I wonder if they’d deliver to the beach?


If you’re ever stuck in PCB on a rainy day, I can not recommend this place enough. Actually, I recommend it on a not so rainy day, but you know I can’t really suggest leaving sunshine (even for a beer garden) but it’s great for an after dinner beer and snack. And try the herb cheese as well as the beer cheese – very complimentary together!  Hofbräu Beer Garden at Pier Park! 

How do YOU salvage a rainy beach day? Leave your comments here and I’ll include them in a Rainy Day at the Beach post 😉