Creamy Stovetop Beer Cheese

updated Sep 6, 2023

This velvety cheese dip pairs perfectly with soft pretzel bites.

Serves6 to 8

Makes4 cups

Prep5 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Calling all cheese-lovers! If cheese dip is your go-to snack for game day or whenever you have friends over, you’ve got to try beer cheese. It’s one of my all-time favorite appetizers, guaranteed to score big points.

Made with a mix of melty sharp cheddar and nutty Gruyère, along with your favorite lager or a hoppy IPA, it’s rich, unbelievably creamy, and packed with flavor. For dippers, you can’t go wrong with soft pretzels, although tortilla chips, breadsticks, and even crunchy veggies are perfect for dunking. 

Credit: Kelli Foster

Why Is It Called Beer Cheese?

It’s as simple as this: Beer and cheese are the two main ingredients of this crowd-pleasing dip. 

Start by making a roux with melted butter and flour, then whisk in beer (preferably a lager or IPA, but any variety will work) and milk. Cook until the mixture is thickened and creamy, then add grated cheese a handful at a time and continue cooking until the sauce is rich and melty. It’s as simple as that.

Are Beer Cheese and Pub Cheese the Same Thing?

Not exactly; here’s how these two cheese dips/spreads differ from one another.

  • Beer cheese, regardless of whether it’s melted and creamy or spreadable, is always made with beer.
  • Pub cheese is a spreadable cheese that is sometimes, but not always, made with beer.

What Is the Best Cheese for Beer Cheese?

Sharp cheddar cheese and nutty Gruyère are the top picks for beer cheese. Both have good meltability and flavor.

For the creamiest texture, do be sure to start with a block of cheese and grate it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is convenient, but it contains additives that prevent it from sticking together in the bag, but which also prevent it from melting well and staying creamy.

Credit: Kelli Foster

What to Dip with Beer Cheese?

There are so many great foods to use as a vehicle for eating beer cheese. These are a few of our favorites.

Beer Cheese Recipe

This velvety cheese dip pairs perfectly with soft pretzel bites.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 15 minutes

Makes 4 cups

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)

  • 4 ounces

    Gruyère cheese (about 1 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1 (12-ounce)

    beer

  • 1 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Grate 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups) and 4 ounces Gruyère cheese (about 1 cup) on the largest holes of a box grater.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and whisk until the flour is completely absorbed, about 30 seconds. The mixture will be foamy and there should be no dry pockets of flour left.

  3. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in 1 (12-ounce) beer and 1 cup whole milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking often, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to cook, whisking often, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

  4. Reduce the heat to low. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and the grated cheese a handful at a time, whisking between each addition, until the cheese is fully melted before adding more. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Storing: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Warm in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.