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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.

beer cheese dip

Inspired by our trip to a brewery up in Vermont this past fall, 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
  • A soft pretzel‘s best friend (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. 🙂

hot beer cheese dip

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.

ingredients in beer cheese dip
ingredients in beer cheese dip

10 Ingredients in Beer Cheese Dip

Each ingredient has a job to do. I don’t recommend substitutions.

  1. 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.
  2. Flour: 3 Tablespoons of flour soak up the butter and create a roux, a thick paste, which is the base of the entire dip.
  3. 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.
  4. Beer: Whisk in your beer of choice. See Best Beer to Use in Cheese Dip below.
  5. Worcestershire Sauce: The remaining ingredients are for flavor. Worcestershire sauce adds a deep and unbeatable flavor. No replacements here.
  6. Dijon Mustard: Want this to taste like beer cheese dip from your favorite brewery or pub? Add a bit of dijon mustard. 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.
  7. Garlic Powder: Adds flavor.
  8. Smoked Paprika: Even more flavor.
  9. Salt: Flavor flavor flavor.
  10. 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.

beer cheese dip

How to Make Beer Cheese Dip

  1. Grate the cheese. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter on the stove, add flour, whisk in milk, then whisk in everything else.
  3. 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 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.

homemade soft pretzels
beer cheese dip and pretzels

What to Serve with Beer Cheese Dip

Honestly, what can’t you serve with this stuff?!

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beer cheese dip

Beer Cheese Dip

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: German

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) 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 cheddar cheese (see note)

Instructions

  1. First, make sure your cheddar cheese is freshly-shredded and ready to go. Set aside for step 4.
  2. 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.
  3. In a slow and steady stream, whisk in the milk. After it’s all added, continue whisking until it slightly thickens, about 1 minute.
  4. One at a time, whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  5. 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.
  6. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Heat over stovetop or in the microwave before serving again.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Updated in 2022: The recipe above now calls for more cheese, less milk, and a touch more dijon mustard. The dip is thicker and more flavorful.

Keywords: beer, beer cheese dip, cheddar cheese, appetizer

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This sounds like the perfect snack for a Super Bowl party! Do you suggest keeping the dip warm? Or is it okay to just serve it in a bowl?

    1. Hi Rosemary! You can serve this dip warm or at room temperature. It takes awhile to cool down. When I serve it, I don’t really keep it warm– just in a bowl. It gets eaten pretty fast!

  2. YUM— give me all the cheese and carbs this weekend! Question- have you tried to double this? I’ll be feeding a crowd! And yes, your pretzels are super easy, I’ve made them before!!

    1. Yes! I doubled the last batch I made. Works perfectly. Takes a minute or 2 longer on the stove since you’re working with more volume.

  3. Does the alcohol actually cook out of the beer? Looking for the rich flavor of this but we don’t drink alcohol. What about non alcoholic beer, could this be substituted? We get this pub cheese dip in Monterey every time and it’s to die for,this sounds like it. They add a little bacon in.

    1. Hi De Ann! The beer doesn’t fully cook out. You can use non-alcoholic beer or the nacho cheese dip I link to in the recipe notes. Adding cooked bacon sounds incredible!

  4. I made a tiny portion of this by paring it down to splashes and dashes of the ingredients and it was very tasty. I poured it over a couple of over-medium eggs for a very tasty brunch-for-one. I look forward to making the full recipe for a social gathering.

  5. This was so good!! I used skim milk and pre-shredded cheese that I had on hand, but it still thickened up perfectly!

  6. Do you know of a good substitute for the Dijon mustard? My husband is allergic to mustard!

    1. Hi Mari! Feel free to skip the mustard and add another flavor you enjoy. Perhaps a dash of hot sauce.

  7. Hi Sally,

    I made this tonight exactly as written; served it with some sliced green apple and hot baked pretzel breadsticks; you can buy them in the bread aisle at Aldi’s. Just baste with melted butter, sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for 5 min. I served them and the apple slices with your cheese dip recipe and It was absolutely fantastic! Better than any fondue restaurant Ive been to! Small tip: If you do use the already shredded cheese…you will just need to just melt it longer until the clumps are gone. I also used a real “German Doppelbock” beer I had sitting around just for this occasion and it was probably the best beer cheese I ever had. Thank you for the awesome recipe…my wife and I absolutely loved it.

    BDC

  8. Second time making this and I ran out of whole milk so I subbed with heavy cream instead. The mixture was pretty thick so I added some extra beer (about 1/3 cup) and it still turned out perfect. Love this recipe so much, especially when paired with the soft pretzels; thanks Sally!

  9. I made this sauce this past weekend for some friends along with my first attempt at soft pretzels, and it was a huge hit! We all LOVED the cheese sauce! We’ve already made it again since then! This is such a great recipe and super easy. Thank you so much!

  10. Hi Kimberly, The beer doesn’t fully cook out. You can use non-alcoholic beer or the nacho cheese dip linked in the recipe notes.

  11. I made this recipe, along with your soft pretzels, on a lazy Sunday. The dip is amazing! So easy to make

  12. Wow, this was a success. My guests scraped their bowls clean. My dip was a bit thin (low fat milk) so I tempered some of the dip with corn starch, added it back and it was perfect.

  13. What do you recommend to keep it “the correct consistency” when using for a party longer than a few hours?

    1. Hi William, If you notice it getting to thick you can warm it back up in the microwave for a few seconds and stirring before setting it back out again. We haven’t tried this, but you can try serving this in a crock pot/slow cooker set on the lowest setting to keep it warm. Let us know if you try it!

  14. Made this recipe exactly as written and it was wonderful! My husband loves it and the friends we had over loved it too. I bought soft pretzels at the grocery store. Served the dip out of the slow cooker. Also great with hard pretzels. It was so easy too!! I will be making this over and over again. Freshly shredded cheese and whole milk are essential. The texture was perfect. I made sure the mix never came to a boil in the sauce pan. Melted the cheese a little at a time on very low heat.

  15. Made this recipe exactly – except I’m a KY girl, I don’t drink beer… I used a good bourbon! OMG, this was AWESOME!!! We could not stop eating this! Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Steve, absolutely. Thaw in the refrigerator and re-heat on the stove until warm & smooth.

  16. This was delicious. I didn’t have whole milk, so I used evaporated milk. Still turned out perfect!

  17. In Kentucky we like it spicier… add a couple of dashes of ground red pepper. And traditionally, we do serve it cold or as it comes to room temperature… not runny and from the stove. It only is ‘runny’ when you spread it on something… like a burger straight off the grill.

  18. Pro tips: Heat the beer up in a separate pot before you add it in. Don’t boil it, but once you see it’s starting to steam, remove it from the heat. Why? The alcohol in it will curdle your milk.

    Second, the consistency of this dish is going to be solely based on your roux. If yours is too thin, you need to check the amount of butter and flour you’re adding at the beginning.

    I did 1 and a half TBS of flour to 2 TBS of butter, but replaced the milk completely with heavy whipping cream. Consistency was accurate.

  19. I just made this today and it came out perfect. Serving it with warm pretzels for game day! Go Pack Go! Can’t wait to make your other dip recipes that followed.

  20. Boy did I blow it! The dip came together beautifully, but I made the mistake of using Guinness Extra stout I had on hand. The cheese def tasted like stout (and worcestershire), and it looked more like tahini than the beautiful yellow sharp cheddar I used. It was pretty much ignored at the dinner party of 12. Sadly, I might wash the rest down the drain today. If I ever try again, I’ll cut the worcester in half, and use a light colored beer that I truly enjoy, just like Sally had advised. My bad!

    1. Hi Val, that should work just fine. You may want to use a bit less (start with about 1/2 teaspoon). Hope you enjoy it!

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