Appetizers & Snacks/ Party

Beer Cheese Dip

7 September 2021 | Last Updated: 9 September 2021 By Aleksandra

This beer cheese dip is a delicious cheesy sauce perfect for dipping your soft pretzel bites, roasted potato wedges, or tortilla chips. It’s made with 3 types of cheese, beer, and spices (but it’s totally customizable!). This easy appetizer is perfect for game day and will be ready in just 15 minutes!

Soft pretzel bites are being dipped in beer cheese dip in a brown bowl.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to make the recipe. Scroll down for a printable recipe card with measurements and detailed instructions.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this amazing beer cheese dip:

Cheese: you can really use any type of melting cheese that you like.

I used 3 types of cheese for this recipe, each one contributes a different flavor to the sauce. I used sharp cheddar for its distinctive flavor, Gruyere cheese (a really flavorful amazing cheese), and parmesan cheese (just a small amount – for that punch of savory umami flavor).

Other options that I’ve tried (all are delicious!)

  • just cheddar cheese
  • just Gruyere cheese (absolutely amazing but a little bit more expensive)
  • a combo of cheddar and smoked Gouda
  • a combo of Gruyere and smoked Gouda

For the best flavor purchase a block of cheese and grate it yourself! Pre-grated cheese contains substances that prevent it from clumping in the bag – such cheese may be harder to melt, may make the sauce grainy, and just doesn’t taste as good.

Beer: use any beer that you like to drink. You can also use non-alcoholic beer – it will taste the same! Please note that this sauce is not cooked long enough for all the alcohol to evaporate, some traces will be left.

Best beer for beer cheese dip: If you want subtle beer flavor use a pale or lager-style beer for a mild-flavored dip. For more intense flavor, use darker ale where you will enjoy the bold flavor and bitterness of the beer. For the best presentation, use a lightly colored beer, like a pilsner.

Milk: use 2% or 3,6% fat milk.

Butter and flour: make the base of the sauce. Flour thickens the sauce.

Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper (add to your taste! you can also use tabasco or sriracha sauce), Dijon mustard (you could also use mustard powder), Worcestershire sauce (adds amazing flavor to any sauce).

You could also add a touch of smoked paprika to your dip.

Labeled ingredients for beer cheese dip.

How to make the best beer cheese dip step by step

Butter and flour in a pot. Roux and a whisk in a pot.

STEP 1: Add the butter into a medium saucepan. When the butter is melted and bubbling add the flour.

STEP 2: Whisk until combined.

Beer is being added to a pot with a roux. Milk is being added to a pot with a sauce.

STEP 3: Gradually add the beer, whisking constantly, until combined. Cook for a minute over low heat.

STEP 4: Add the milk.

Milk and spices in a pot. Shredded cheddar in a pot with a sauce and a whisk.

STEP 5: Add the spices: onion and garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and cayenne. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute, whisking from time to time. Reduce the heat to low.

STEP 6: Add half of the cheese, whisk until melted.

Gruyere cheese in a pot with a cheese sauce. Cheese sauce flowing off a spoon to a pot.

STEP 7: Add the remaining cheese, whisk until melted.

STEP 8: When all the cheese has been incorporated, season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Leave to cool and thicken (about 5-10 minutes).

Enjoy!

A brown bowl with beer cheese dip surrounded by soft pretzel bites.

Storage

How to serve it: it will thicken with time and a “skin” will form on its surface. If you’d like to serve this dip at a party, serving it in a slow cooker or fondue-dish would be a good idea!

How to store it: store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

How long will it keep: it will be good for up to 5 days!

How to reheat it: the dip will become very thick in the fridge. If there’s a skin on the surface of the dip, just whisk it until it’s smooth. Simply reheat it in a pot, whisking from time to time, until warm and pourable. If it’s too thick, you can add a small amount of milk.

Can I make it in advance? Yes, you can make it even 2-3 days in advance if you plan on serving this dip to your guests! It reheats perfectly. This dip was good for me even after 5 days in the fridge but I wouldn’t risk serving it to other people after such time.

Can it be frozen? Yes, it freezes very well but you may need to mix it in a blender to get a smooth consistency. It tastes like freshly made.

How to freeze it: cool it then transfer to a plastic bag / zip-lock bag. Flatten the bag! It will take less space in the fridge and it will be easier to thaw.

How to thaw it: You can thaw it in the fridge then reheat in a pot, or if you have frozen your dip in portions, flat, you can try to reheat it in a pot straight from the freezer. Just reheat the frozen dip in a pot over very low heat, stirring with a spoon from time to time and breaking the frozen dip with the spoon into smaller pieces. Use a whisk when it’s almost thawed. If the dip is grainy and not so smooth you can always mix in a blender (or with a hand/immersion blender) and you’re good to go!

What to serve it with

My absolute favorite way to serve this dip is with soft pretzel bites (pictured!) and, of course, beer!

Other great options are:

  • hard pretzels/pretzel rods or crackers
  • tortilla chips
  • roasted potato wedges
  • pigs in a blanket
  • pan-fried kielbasa slices (or another type of sausage)
  • a piece of crusty sourdough bread or a baguette
  • a ligther side: veggie sticks! carrots, celery, roasted cauliflower or broccoli would be great
  • serve it with chicken tenders
  • garlicky naan bread (yes!)
  • use it as a burger sauce!

FAQ

Why is my beer cheese dip grainy?

Using pre-grated cheeses that contain substances preventing them from clumping may be the reason. Another reason may be adding too much cheese at once. Add the cheese gradually and whisk after each addition waiting for the cheese to melt. Don’t add the cheese to a bubbling sauce, it’s best to take the pot off the heat and gradually add the cheese.

How can you fix grainy cheese sauce?

Add a tablespoon of cream and whisk vigorously to bring the sauce back together. Another option is to simply mix the dip in a blender!

How do you make beer cheese dip?

It’s very simple! Combine butter and flour, then gradually add beer, milk, and spices. Lastly, whisk in the cheeses until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Does beer cheese dip have alcohol?

Yes, there is a small amount of alcohol left in the sauce. It’s not cooked long enough for the alcohol to completely evaporate (but there are always small traces of alcohol no matter how long are you cooking the dish). Most of the alcohol is evaporated though and all is left in a wonderful flavor. You can’t taste the alcohol flavor and you won’t get tipsy by eating this dip! If you’re worried about the alcohol in this dip, you can use an alcohol-free beer!

What is beer cheese sauce made of?

It’s made with cheese, milk, beer, butter, flour, and spices.

Why did my cheese sauce split?

Overcooking the sauce may be the reason. If your cheese is melted you can take the pot off the heat. Another reason may be adding too much cheese at once. Add it gradually, whisking after each addition, and wait for the cheese to melt before adding the next portion.

What to do if the cheese sauce is too thick?

Add more milk or beer.

What to do if the cheese sauce is too thin?

Simply cook it a little longer until it’s thickened. Please note that hot cheese sauce will be very runny and it will thicken quickly while cooling.

A brown bowl with beer cheese dip surrounded by soft pretzel bites. One pretzel bite in a bowl with the sauce.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Beer Cheese Dip

This beer cheese dip is a delicious cheesy sauce perfect for dipping your soft pretzel bites, roasted potato wedges, or tortilla chips. It's made with 3 types of cheese, beer, and spices (but it's totally customizable). This easy appetizer is perfect for game day and will be ready in just 15 minutes!
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Beer cheese dip in a brown bowl surrounded with soft pretzel bites.
Print Recipe
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 191kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar 100g
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere or sharp cheddar, 100g
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add the butter into a medium saucepan.
  • When the butter is melted and bubbling add the flour. Whisk until combined.
  • Gradually add the beer, whisking constantly, until combined. Cook for a minute over low heat.
  • Add the milk and spices: onion and garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and cayenne. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute, whisking from time to time. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add shredded cheese in 2 additions, whisking after each addition until the cheese is melted.
  • When all the cheese has been incorporated, season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Leave to cool and thicken (about 5-10 minutes), then enjoy!

Notes

  • What kind of cheese to use: use any melting cheese that you like. Other options: you can use just sharp cheddar, just Gruyere cheese (amazing), Gruyere and smoked gouda, cheddar and smoked gouda. For the best flavor purchase a block of cheese and grate it yourself! Pre-grated cheese contains substances that prevent it from clumping in the bag – such cheese may be harder to melt and just doesn’t taste as good.
  • The best beer for beer cheese dip: a pale ale or lager beer (just use a beer that you like to drink). Non-alcoholic beer can also be used! Storing and freezing instructions can be found in the post.
  • If your cheese sauce is grainy or split just mix it in a blender (or use a hand/immersion blender).
  • Calories: 1 serving (1/8 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, German
Keyword beer cheese dip, cheese dip with beer, cheese sauce with beer, pretzel dip

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