Pour a 1/2 cup of cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle in the yeast. Rest for 3-5 minutes until the yeast foams. Next, stir in the brown sugar, salt, olive oil, and vanilla. Lastly, pour in the beer and let the yeast react. After the bubbling stops, add 1 cup of flour and, using the hook attachment, slowly knead in the flour. Continue adding one cup of flour at a time until the dough forms a smooth ball that pulls away from the bowl sides. Transfer dough into a lightly oiled bowl;cover with a towel and sit in a warm area of the room. Allow to rise and double in size (about an hour).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two baking sheets and set aside. Pour the remaining 4 cups of water and baking soda into a large saucepan and bring to boil. Meanwhile, divide dough into 12 equal sized balls. Roll each ball into a 1/2 inch thick long rope. Curve each into a “U” shape and cross over the ends into a classic pretzel shape. Next, working one by one, boil each pretzel for 30 seconds. Remove each with a slotted spoon and place 4 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Lightly brush each pretzel with the beaten egg and sprinkle with Ghost Chile Salt. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Immediately brush with butter.
Best when served warm.