Beer Cheese

This beer cheese, made with Cheddar, cream cheese, onion, garlic, spices, and, most importantly, beer, is a necessity for your Super Bowl party. Serve with crackers, pretzels, and raw vegetables.

A crock of beer cheese with a knife resting on top, and a mug of beer and piece of pretzel bun on the side.

A boozy cousin to pimento cheese, this beer cheese is essential football and party food intended for spreading on crackers, dipping with pretzels, dunking vegetables into, and, natch, downing alongside cold beer. (In the unlikely event you have leftovers, it also makes a game-changingly mean grilled cheese.)–Angie Zoobkoff

Beer Cheese

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 4 H, 25 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
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Ingredients


Directions

Pour the beer into a glass and let it sit until it loses a lot of its fizziness, at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large food processor, combine the Cheddar, cream cheese, onion, garlic, hot sauce, salt, cayenne, mustard, Worcestershire, and black pepper and pulse just until blended.

Tester tip: If your food processor has a capacity smaller than 10 cups, you may need to add ingredients in batches and pulse as you go to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.

With the processor running, slowly pour in the beer. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 5 days.

Serve cold or let soften at room temperature for a short spell before serving.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Since my husband and I both love pimento cheese, I was excited to test this recipe for its boozy cousin. Beer and cheese and spice are a perfect combination for a delicious dip or spread. The flavor of the beer is pleasantly prominent in the dip and it’s nicely spicy, which I enjoy, but if you like it less spicy you may want to cut back on the cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce.

Once the cheese is grated and the onion minced, the rest of the recipe is very easy. When I started to process the mixture in the food processor I found the mixture was a little stiff, so I put some of the beer at the bottom of the processor bowl, and as soon as the beer started to mix in it blended easily. The only hard part is waiting for it to come out of the fridge after resting it to let the flavors meld.

Straight out of the fridge it’s a little firm and good for spreading, but if you leave it out for a half hour or so it’s the perfect consistency for a dip. I tried it with pretzels and also woven wheat crackers and it was delicious with both. This would also make a wonderful spread for sandwiches, especially for a burger on a pretzel bun, or to replace the cheese in a grilled cheese with tomato.

This recipe made about 4 cups, enough for a crowd, and would be great served with pretzels and beer (as the recipe calls for) or with almost any savory cracker, or even veggies. I let the dip rest overnight in the fridge.

Being born and raised in land of beer and cheese, I feel compelled to tell you, as an expert, this beer cheese is delicious and should be made immediately and served at most functions involving sports.

However, as any good Wisconsinite will tell you (or “youse,” as we say), the best beer to cook with is the beer you like to drink, and you can taste the beer here, so it does matter. I know the recipe called for a lager, but I only had ale in the fridge—New Glarus Spotted Cow, to be specific.

Speaking of things you like to eat, there is quite a bit of heat packed into this cheese. It doesn’t really mellow with age, either. The cayenne and Tabasco won’t hit you between the eyes right away, but it doesn’t linger, so warn your spice-averse friends, if necessary.

You don’t have to use the fanciest sharp Cheddar cheese here, since it’s not really the star. Just make sure it’s flavorful. If you shred your own cheese and have a 14-cup food processor, the work bowl will be quite full. Be sure to finely chop the onion and garlic since the blade has a lot of work to do. Maybe chunk up the cream cheese, too, so your motor doesn’t get as angry as mine did. I let that go for two 30-second long rounds before adding the beer, scraping in between. It wasn’t super duper smooth but no one seemed to mind.

The good news is that in the time it tastes for the beer to lose some of its fizz, you can make this cheese. It’s good right out of the food processor, but do wait a few hours. We ate it with pretzels but I keep thinking it would be excellent served old school in a loaf of caraway rye.

In the event of leftovers, try in a grilled cheese or warmed slightly over steamed vegetables.

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