Begin by adding yeast, brown sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the warm water and stir gently to dissolve the yeast.
Stir in flour 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated and a dough is formed.
Knead the dough until the consistency is smooth, around 8-10 minutes.
Lightly oil a medium size bowl. Add dough, turning to coat. Cover the bowl and allow dough to rise, undisturbed, for 1 hour.
Separate dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3' rope and twist into a pretzel shape.
Combine the remaining 2 cups of warm water and baking soda in an 8" x 8" inch dish and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dip each pretzel into the baking soda water and set on a parchment covered baking sheet. Allow dough to rise again, 15 - 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush top with melted butter, and sprinkle with desired toppings. Serve warm.