This velvety pub-style beer cheese is an easy appetizer or snack ready in just 30 minutes. Dip pretzels, veggies, or crackers…you really can’t go wrong!
What is Beer Cheese?
Beer cheese is a creamy, cheesy dip made from beer, cheese (traditionally sharp cheddar cheese) and spices. It’s classically served with soft pretzels or saltine crackers, but it’s hard to find something that you won’t want to dip in beer cheese!
It’s even delicious with just a spoon. Wink.
Coming from someone who isn’t usually a fan of cheese dips, this beer cheese is addictive: loads of sharp cheddar cheese, just enough beer to add flavor, and more flavor from a splash of apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Did I mention a touch of fresh garlic too? It’s insane.
This Beer Cheese Is…
- Delectable. Finger-licking. Heaven.
- Easy = 5 steps and less than 30 minutes.
- Flavorful (it’s not just melted cheese and beer).
- Cheesy, velvety goodness.
- Make ahead for parties or just to keep on-hand in the fridge.
What You’ll Need to Make Beer Cheese
- Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese – the classic cheese to use for beer cheese is cheddar cheese, since it’s sharp, flavorful and melts well. Grate your cheese. Pre-grated cheese doesn’t melt as well (it has anti-caking agents!).
- Whole milk – whole milk will help create a roux that thickens our beer cheese.
- Beer – use your favorite beer! I use pale ale which is crisp, floral and fruity. The kind of beer you use will change the flavor of the beer cheese (i.e. IPAs are strong and hoppy, yielding bitter undertones and bold flavor).
- All-purpose flour – flour creates a roux that thickens the beer cheese.
- Butter – butter adds flavors and helps make a roux that thickens the beer cheese.
- Dijon mustard – a dash of mustard adds tangy undertones without tasting like mustard.
- Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce is a classic addition, adding hints of spices, garlic, onion, vinegar, and other delicious flavor.
- Garlic – fresh garlic…because garlic!
- Apple cider vinegar – a splash of apple cider vinegar adds a touch of tanginess and fruitiness that works so well with the beer and sharp cheddar cheese.
- Cayenne (optional) – if you like it hot (or a little spicy), add some cayenne!
How to Make Beer Cheese
Making beer cheese takes only 5 easy steps! Full instructions in the recipe card.
It’s best to measure out ingredients before starting.
In a medium pan over medium heat, add butter. Let melt. Add flour. Whisk until combined. Slowly add milk, whisking while adding.
Then add beer, whisking while adding. Add mustard, garlic, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar, and a dash of cayenne (optional). Whisk to combine.
Continue heating mixture over medium heat while whisking, until just hot but not bubbling (about 3-5 minutes). Do not overheat.
When hot, whisk in cheese, mixing over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat, stir in salt if desired, and serve hot.
What Kind of Beer to Use in Beer Cheese
You can use any kind of beer you’d like! Keep in mind that the kind of beer you use will change the flavor of your beer cheese. I like to use pale ale since it’s crisp, fruity and floral. If you like bolder flavor, for instance, you can use an IPA that has bitter undertones and more intense flavor.
What to Serve With Beer Cheese
Beer cheese is such an awesome dip with pretty much anything. It’s even so delicious that you can enjoy beer cheese with a spoon as a soup (yes, my husband does this!). But let’s stick to dip options. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve beer cheese…with:
- Soft pretzels (the classic!)
- Saltine crackers (the other classic!), or other types of crackers
- Regular crunchy pretzels
- Potato chips
- Raw veggies like celery, carrots, peppers and radishes
- Garlic Naan Bread
- Easy Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
- Healthy Baked Tortilla Chips
- Buttery Homemade Parker House Rolls
- A sandwich as a spread like the Best Salami Sandwich
How to Store Beer Cheese
Make ahead: You can definitely make beer cheese up to 4 days ahead, reheating when you’re ready! I don’t recommend freezing it.
Storage: Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, once cooled.
Reheat: Reheat over low heat in a covered pot on the stove, stirring often, until hot. Or reheat in increments of 30 seconds in the microwave, stirring every increment.
Other Dip Recipes You’ll Love!
- Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)
- Whipped Ricotta With Brown Butter Sage & Honey
- Dad’s Famous Thai Peanut Sauce
- Tzatziki Sauce
- Creamy Italian Tonnato Sauce
- 2 ½ cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese packed
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ⅔ cup beer your favorite kind (I use pale ale)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large garlic clove finely minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Cayenne optional
- It’s best to measure out ingredients before starting.
- In a medium pan over medium heat, add butter. Let melt. Add flour. Whisk until combined. Slowly add milk, whisking while adding.
- Then add beer, whisking while adding. Add mustard, garlic, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar, and a dash of cayenne (optional). Whisk to combine.
- Continue heating mixture over medium heat while whisking, until just hot but not bubbling (about 3-5 minutes). Do not overheat.
- When hot, whisk in cheese, mixing over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat, stir in salt if desired, and serve. Beer cheese will thicken as it cools.
- Grate your cheese. Pre-grated cheese doesn’t melt as well (it has anti-caking agents!).
- Tiny little lumps are normal. If your beer cheese is extra lumpy after adding cheese, your cheese likely hasn’t melted fully yet. Keep mixing over medium heat until smooth.
- As beer cheese cools, it thickens.
- Want a garnish? Garnish beer cheese with bacon bits, scallions, chives and/or parsley.