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No Bake Pretzel and Bourbon Beer Balls

No Bake Pretzel and Bourbon Beer Balls


These are the beers that make me feel like a stalker.

This time of year barrel aged beer has my attention, coming onto store shelves just as the fresh hop beers are becoming scarce and I need a distraction from that disappointment. I show up at bottle shops and beg for this years editions from the breweries that rattle the barrel aged cage every year. There are a few that we all seem to look forward to and seek out. The beers that fill our instagram feeds and even get us to (at least contemplate) standing in line for hours just for a taste.

Barrel aged beer is just like what it sounds, it’s beer (mostly the darker styles, but not always) that have been aged in barrels. Most commonly you’ll see bourbon or rum barrels but wine has started to make a stronger showing in the past few years.


I always ask about a few in particular, mostly knowing I can’t always get them in Washington, but hoping Beer Store Beer Guy might have an in somewhere that could open up the possibility that I can get my greasy hands on one.

Here is my yearly wish list, let me know if you have one you look forward to with the same near-stalker-like anticipation.

Firestone Walker // Velvet Merkin and Parabola

Surly Brewing // Barrel Aged Darkness

Founders // KBS

Deschutes // The Abyss 

Fremont Brewing // B-Bomb

The Bruery // Black Tuesday 

The Lost Abbey // Serpent’s Stout 


No Bake Pretzel and Bourbon Beer Balls

Servings 36 balls


  • ½ cup 50g chopped pecans
  • ½ cup 58g chopped almonds
  • 1 cup 154g pretzels crumbs (pretzels processed with a food processor)
  • 1 cup 122g graham cracker crumbs (9 full sized graham crackers, processed)
  • ½ cup 43g unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • ¾ cup 75g powdered sugar, divided
  • ½ cup 118mL bourbon barrel aged beer
  • 3 tablespoons 63g honey (or light corn syrup)


  • In a large bowl stir together the pecans, almonds, pretzel crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (reserve the other ¼ for the coating), and ½ cup powdered sugar (reserve the other ¼ for the coating).
  • Stir in the beer and honey until well combined. Mixture shouldn’t be wet but it should hold together when squeezed. If it’s too dry to hold together add more beer, about 1 tablespoon at a time until the right consistency is reached.
  • In a small bowl stir together the remaining ¼ cup cocoa powder and ¼ cup powdered sugar.
  • One at a time form into balls about the size of a golf ball, roll in powdered sugar. Place on a plate or tray.
  • Chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve chilled.


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Fran Hooper November 19, 2016 um 3:48 am

This sounds wonderful and I want to make the recipe for my holiday party. But I’m not sure that I can find a bourbon barrelled beer. Can I substitute some other beer? And FYI — I LOVE your blog and have used a number of your recipes! Thanks a million!


Fran Hooper November 19, 2016 um 3:59 am

Hi Jackie — I love your blog and have used a number of your recipes. I want to use the Pretzel and Bourbon Beer Balls for my holiday party. I’m not sure if I’ll find the barrel aged beer and wondered if there is an alternative. Thanks for all the great recipes you’ve give to us!


Jackie November 19, 2016 um 10:07 am

Try putting 2 tablespoons in a 1/2 cup measuring cup and then filling the rest up with a regular stout. That should work just fine!


Jade December 11, 2016 um 2:21 pm

I know I’ve seen Lost Abbey stuff at the Total Wine in Olympia, and honestly I THINK Fred Meyer? Not sure about that type specifically but I’ll look next time I go (and since I kind of want to make these that might be shortly). I’m not sure if there are any up your way but the one here has a pretty huge selection of specialty, seasonal, and local stuff (not just beer).


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