This creamy, salty, and smooth pub-style beer cheese dip is an easy appetizer recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes. Flavored with lager-style beer (or your favorite style), garlic, smoked paprika, a bit of dijon mustard, and lots of cheddar cheese, this robust dip is extra flavorful and awesome with homemade soft pretzels, fresh artisan bread, pitas, or celery.
Inspired by a trip to a brewery up in Vermont, I threw together this beer cheese dip over the holidays. I adapted it from my spicy nacho cheese sauce and didn’t have any intention of sharing the recipe on my website. After the first batch disappeared in 10 seconds and the second batch was gone in .02 seconds, I had a feeling I was onto something that couldn’t possibly be kept secret.
This Beer Cheese Dip Is:
- Ready in 15 minutes
- Wildly robust with deep flavor
- Extra smooth and creamy
- Pub-style and a snack you’d find at a brewery
- Flavored with smoked paprika, garlic, and the slightest bit of dijon mustard
- Totally customizable to whatever beer you enjoy
- The best friend of soft pretzels everywhere (or soft pretzel bites!)
We LOVE THIS STUFF and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly and easily it comes together with basic kitchen ingredients. It’s quite possibly the perfect party food, Super Bowl snack, holiday appetizer, or “let’s indulge” Saturday night activity.
Beer Cheese Dip Video (2 Minutes)
I didn’t snap many step-by-step photos of this recipe since the entire process is on the stovetop, so I filmed a quick how-to video instead. It’s really important that you see the base of the dip come together. The combination of butter and flour is called a roux and forms a thick paste before we add the remaining ingredients.
10 Ingredients in Beer Cheese Dip
Each ingredient has a job to do. I don’t recommend substitutions.
- Butter: Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter to begin. You can use salted or unsalted. No need to bring it to room temperature first; the butter can come right from the refrigerator.
- Flour: 3 Tablespoons of flour soak up the butter and create a roux, a thick paste, which is the base of the entire dip.
- Whole Milk or Half-and-Half: In a slow and steady stream, whisk in milk or half-and-half. The mixture will look chunky at first, but will come together as you continue to whisk over heat.
- Beer: Whisk in your beer of choice. See Best Beer to Use in Cheese Dip below.
- Worcestershire Sauce: The remaining ingredients are for flavor. Worcestershire sauce adds a deep and unbeatable flavor. No replacements here. Just a small amount provides big flavor, just as it does in crab cakes, black bean burgers, and chicken meatballs.
- Dijon Mustard: Want this to taste like beer cheese dip from your favorite brewery or pub? Add a bit of dijon mustard like we do with ham and potato casserole or even deviled eggs. This dip does not taste like mustard—my husband does not like mustard and loves this. Without it, the recipe tastes like it’s missing something.
- Garlic Powder: Adds flavor.
- Smoked Paprika: Even more flavor.
- Salt: Flavor flavor flavor.
- Cheddar Cheese: I like using a combination of white cheddar and regular sharp cheddar cheese, but you can use all of either. The most important step? Freshly shredding your cheese at home. Store-bought pre-shredded cheese is much drier than freshly shredded. You need the freshest cheese for this dip!
Just use a box grater for the cheese. This kitchen essential comes in handy when you need shredded cheese for cheese bread, carrots for carrot cake, grated frozen butter for scones, apples and carrots for morning glory muffins, zucchini for zucchini bread, and more.
How to Make Beer Cheese Dip
- Grate the cheese. Set aside.
- Melt butter on the stove, add flour, whisk in milk, then whisk in everything else.
- That’s it, you’re done.
The sauce is thin when it comes off the stove, but will thicken after a few minutes.
Best Beer to Use in Beer Cheese Dip
Low maintenance and no-fuss, this creamy cheesy dip tastes awesome with a variety of beer. I prefer to make beer cheese dip with a German-style beer or a local lager. The deeper the flavor of the beer, the more robust the dip will taste. The dip tastes like the beer you use, so use your favorite. Pale ales or wheat beers add a more mellow flavor. (Still delicious!)
I would just avoid fruity beers like orange or berry flavored.
What to Serve with Beer Cheese Dip
- Soft Pretzels (pictured—these are SO EASY TO MAKE)
- Soft Pretzel Bites (shown in the video)
- Pretzel Rolls
- Artisan Bread or any crusty bread
- Celery, broccoli, cauliflower
- Fresh pita or pita chips
- Crunchy crackers or hard pretzels
Honestly, what can’t you serve with this stuff?!
More Party-Friendly Recipes
- Hot Crab Dip
- Seasoned Pretzels
- BBQ Turkey Meatballs (serve with toothpicks)
- Cold Veggie Pizza
- Corn Black Bean & Avocado Salsa
- Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Stuffed Jalapeños
- Pepperoni Pizza Dip
- Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball
Ready in under 15 minutes, this crowd-favorite appetizer is creamy, salty, savory, and filled with flavor. Serve with homemade soft pretzels or the variety of foods listed above this recipe.
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons (24g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk or half-and-half*
- 2/3 cup (160ml) beer*
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/2 cups (315g; 10 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (see note)
- First, make sure your cheddar cheese is freshly-shredded and ready to go. Set aside for step 4.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together until a thick and clumpy paste forms, about 1 minute.
- In a slow and steady stream, whisk in the milk. After it’s all added, continue whisking until it slightly thickens, about 1 minute.
- One at a time, whisk in the remaining ingredients.
- Remove the cheese dip from heat and pour into a serving dish. Sprinkle with extra cheese, if desired. The dip will be thin right off the stove, but will begin to thicken after a few minutes. It’s delicious warm or room temperature.
- Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Heat over stovetop or in the microwave before serving again.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Box Grater | Saucepan | Whisk
- Whole Milk: Whole milk or half-and-half is best for a thicker dip. You can use 2% or lower fat (or non dairy) milks, but keep in mind that the dip will be very thin.
- Beer: You can use your favorite. See Best Beer to Use for Beer Cheese Dip in the post above. For a non-alcoholic version, use my Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce. You can control the spice in that cheese dip recipe.
- Cheese: I recommend cheddar cheese in this recipe, but you can use another relatively harder cheese such as pepper jack, gouda, or colby cheese. Avoid very soft cheeses. For best taste and texture, shred cheese off the block yourself with a cheese grater. Pre-shredded cheese is drier than freshly shredded. If you have extra cheese, shred a bit for garnish on top of the dip for serving.
- Spice: If you want to add spice, stir in a bit of hot sauce or cayenne pepper after the dip comes off the stove. Taste, then add more if desired.
Keywords: beer, beer cheese dip, cheddar cheese, appetizer