This beer cheese dip recipe is a pub-style recipe you can easily make at home! Beer adds boldness and depth to cheese sauce, making it even more delicious. Serve it with soft pretzels for a game day snack!
Why you’ll love it: It’s cheese sauce, with an upgrade!
How long it takes: 15 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: stovetop, large saucepan
Servings: makes 4 cups
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Reasons to Love Beer Cheese Dip
- 3 Ingredients You’ll need
- 4 How to make Beer Cheese Dip
- 5 Cooking Tip
- 6 FAQs
- 7 How to make this Recipe your own
- 8 What to Serve With Beer Cheese Dip
- 9 Make Ahead Ideas
- 10 Storage & Reheating Suggestions
- 11 Leftover Love
- 12 More Recipes for Cheese Lovers
- 13 Get the Recipe: Beer Cheese Dip Recipe
My kids love cheese sauce, and of course, I do too—who doesn’t?! But this beer cheese dip is kind of a more “adultified” version of the classic. Because: beer.
Beer doesn’t just make this beer cheese dip boozy (honestly, there’s not all that much beer in it), it also adds a little more interest. There’s more depth and nuance here, two words you probably wouldn’t use to describe a typical cheese sauce.
While I originally came up with this beer cheese dip recipe for pairing with homemade soft pretzels or soft pretzel bites, it’s also great as a fondue, on baked potatoes, and with all kinds of different dippers. I’ll share more ideas later in this post!
Reasons to Love Beer Cheese Dip
- Creamy, rich, and cheesy. This dip has the perfect texture: not too thick, not too thin. It has an assertively cheesy flavor thanks to the addition of sharp cheddar, which packs a lot of tangy punch.
- Bold flavor. Beer is the heavy hitter when it comes to this dip’s full-bodied flavor but there are a lot of supporting players too. Worcestershire sauce adds depth and umami, Dijon mustard has a bit of a bite, garlic powder makes it savory and delicious, and smoked paprika gives the dip a hint of smoky flavor.
- Easy to make. You can have this dip ready to eat in about 15 minutes. If you make beer cheese dip for a party, that means more time to spend with your guests!
Ingredients You’ll need
- Unsalted Butter: Using unsalted butter gives you more control over the flavor of the recipe.
- All-Purpose Flour: This beer cheese dip starts with a roux; the flour keeps the cheese from separating, creating a smooth sauce.
- Whole Milk: I recommend whole milk for the richest, creamiest results. Lower fat milks tend to curdle a bit.
- Beer: I like to use a German wheat beer. Use your favorite type and brand of beer. See the FAQ section for more about beer selection.
- Seasonings: Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and smoked paprika season the dip, adding depth and flavor.
- Shredded Sharp Cheddar: Store-bought shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent added to it which affects how it melts. For the smoothest, creamiest beer cheese dip, I recommend shredding your own cheese.
How to make Beer Cheese Dip
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk it with the butter for a full minute. If you’re using a nonstick pan, be sure to use a silicone whisk so you don’t scratch the coating on your saucepan.
Take your time whisking the flour and butter together in the saucepan. If you add the flour and then immediately start adding the milk, the beer cheese dip will have a raw flour taste to it.
Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. I add a small amount, whisk until the sauce is smooth, then add a little more, whisk until smooth again, etc. This keeps clumps of flour from forming in the beer cheese dip.
Slowly add the beer, stirring constantly. Then, stir in the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is completely smooth. Remove from the heat and serve.
I recommend using a wheat beer for beer cheese. A darker beer, like a stout or porter, has a strong flavor that can overpower the cheddar. I also don’t recommend beer with a high IBU rating, like IPAs, which tend to have a bitter flavor. They’re great for drinking but not the best for cooking.
If the beer cheese dip is grainy, it’s likely because it was overcooked or because you used store-bought shredded cheese. Shred your own cheese and don’t cook the dip for too long or too high for the best creamy beer cheese dip.
How to make this Recipe your own
- Add heat. A pinch of cayenne or your favorite hot sauce (sriracha, Cholula, or Frank’s Red Hot would be great) will give you a spicy beer cheese dip.
- Garnish with green onions. Scatter green onions over the top of the beer cheese dip for a little crunch and a pop of color.
- Whisk in nutmeg. Nutmeg is that little something-something you find in so many cheese sauces and it’s excellent in this beer cheese dip too! A little goes a long way, so just add a pinch.
- Switch up the cheese. I don’t recommend switching out all of the cheddar, but you can swap half of it for Emmenthaler, Fontina, or another good melting sharp cheese.
What to Serve With Beer Cheese Dip
You can’t go wrong with homemade soft pretzels, but here are some more ideas for what to serve with beer cheese dip:
- Breadsticks—crispy or soft
- Celery sticks, baby carrots, and raw cauliflower
- Apple slices
- Cubes of bread: pumpernickel, rye, or crusty Dutch oven bread would be perfect!
- Baked potatoes or French fries; cooked vegetables
- Burgers, brats, and hot dogs
- Tortilla chips
Make Ahead Ideas
To get a head start on this recipe, you can shred the cheese and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Storage & Reheating Suggestions
Refrigerate: Store any leftover sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Reheat: Beer cheese is best served warm but it is safe to consume at room temperature. To reheat it, pop it in the microwave or warm it over low heat on the stovetop.
- Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and use a whisk to mix the flour in, cooking for one minute.
- Very slowly pour in the milk, continuously stirring, to make a smooth sauce.
- Gradually add the beer, stirring constantly.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Reduce heat to low and add shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately as a dipping sauce for soft pretzels or another dipper of your choice. Beer cheese can also be served like any cheese sauce: on baked potatoes, French fries, vegetables, sandwiches, etc.
- We found that German wheat beer gives this sauce an edge when it comes to flavor. See the post above for more information about which beer to choose.
- Beer cheese sauce is best served warm but is safe to consume at room temperature. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Reheat slowly to return the sauce to its original texture.
- Storage: Store any leftover sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a saucepan or microwave. Try not to overheat the sauce.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.