John Spannnuth, left, chief operating officer of Unique Snacks in Muhlenberg Township, and Rajavel Jagadesan owner of Chatty Monks Brewing Co. in West Reading with cans of their craft beer collaboration Split Face, inside Chatty Monks. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Pretzels and beer: two flavors that just naturally go together. Why not combine them into one?
That is just what two Berks craft establishments have done.
Chatty Monks Brewing Co. and Unique Snacks have joined forces to create Split Face, an amber lager that features a “savory hint of pretzel,” according to a press release about the collaboration.
“Reading has a thriving craft beer scene, and we are pleased to partner with a long-standing family-operated craft pretzel business in the community to create something unique to our region,” Rajavel Jagadesan, owner of Chatty Monks Brewing, said in a statement.
Created as a celebration of National Pretzel Day — April 26 this year — Split Face actually made its debut during the West Reading Craft Pretzel and Beer Fest on Saturday, April 22. It is available at Chatty Monks Pub, 610 Penn Ave. in West Reading.
“There’s no better combination than pretzels and beer. It’s rewarding to collaborate with another local business to introduce something new that we could not accomplish individually,” Justin Spannuth, chief operating officer of Unique Snacks said in a statement. “There has been a wonderful response to Split Face, so only time will tell what could be next.”
The idea was to create a “savory pretzel flavored craft beer,” according to the release. Chatty Monks’ brewmaster, John Stemler, infused Split Face with Unique Snacks’ Original Splits pretzels to create a “flavorful and refreshing lager.” It has 5.3% alcohol by volume and features a “subtle pretzel flavor that is quickly becoming a favorite at Chatty Monks.”
‘Split Face is a craft beer created through a collaboration between Chatty Monks Brewing Co. and Unique Snacks. (COURTESY PHOTO)It took about a month to develop the new craft beer, according to Jagadesan. Additional batches are being prepared and will continue until the next variety if available, he said. The goal is to develop a new beer quarterly for the changing seasons, Jagadesan added.
Unique Snacks, 215 E. Bellevue Ave., Muhlenberg Township, is a sixth-generation, 100-year-old pretzel bakery. In 2020, Unique Pretzel Bakery rebranded as Unique Snacks to pursue added growth in other healthy snack categories. For more information visit www.UniqueSnacks.com.
Chatty Monks Brewing Co. of West Reading is a family-owned business purchased in 2021 by Jagadesan, his wife, Kelly, and daughters Devi and Meera. Chatty Monks’ menu features dinners with an “Indian/American fusion experience.”
Chatty Monks brewing originally started in 2014. The assets of the company were acquired by Jagadesan’s EDL (Eat, Drink, Love) Consolidated Inc. in May 2021. For more information visit www.chattymonks.com.