This amazing Beer Cheese Dip for Pretzels is a delicious cheesy dip made with beer’s smooth, subtle taste. This easy dip recipe is made on the stovetop and is ready to serve in less than 20 minutes.
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I first had beer cheese dip on a visit to a winery in Georgia. I was hooked on the genius concept of adding beer to a cheese dip. Beer cheese originated in Kentucky in the 1930s but has since found its way all over the continental US. Such a genius concept and tasty recipe were bound to be loved by many.
With this recipe, my goal was to develop a beer cheese dip that perfectly balanced beer and cheese. This recipe is cheesy, rich, and great prepared as a dip for pretzels, making it a perfect recipe for game day or just a casual midday snack.
Ingredients for Beer Cheese Dip
- Roux Ingredients – unsalted butter and all-purpose flour make the roux for this recipe. A roux thickens the beer cheese dip.
- Beer – A lager or ale is best for this.
- Milk – to add richness to the sauce.
- Cheese – I used mild cheddar block cheese that I shredded myself. Mild cheddar will give a smoother cheese sauce than sharp cheddar.
- Seasoning – Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
- Medium-sized saucepan: To cook your mixture in.
- Whisk: To combine your ingredients smoothly.
- Cheese grater: To shred your cheddar cheese, unless you’re using pre-shredded cheese, which I only suggest if the bag indicates it’s creamy cheese.
How to make Beer Cheese Dip
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add flour and constantly whisk until the mixture is smooth and bubbly about 1-2 minutes.
Slowly pour in beer while whisking continuously. Add milk, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheddar cheese until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with pretzels for dipping.
What’s the best beer to use?
Your ideal beer cheese dip depends entirely upon the flavor profile you prefer. Darker beers, like stouts and porters, create an intense and robust flavor.
Lighter ales like lagers and pale ales are ideal for a more delicate flavor.
Lagers of all colors can be used to make a beer cheese dip. Bright, amber, dark lagers, Oktoberfest beers, and Pilsners make great choices. Popular beers like Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite also make delicious dips.
Ensure that fruity beers, such as orange or berry-flavored varieties, are distinct from cheese’s bold flavors too much.
What’s the best Cheese for Beer Cheese Dip for Pretzels
I preferred to stick to one type of cheese, an excellent mild cheddar cheese. I suggest a block of cheese and shredding yourself for a smooth dip. Make it your own by adding a complementary cheese, like Gruyere.
The cheeses you choose should complement that of beer perfectly. If you want something different, though, Swiss or pepper jack might add another dimension – both are worth exploring further!
How to keep the cheese smooth for dipping
To keep this cheese smooth and stop it from getting chunky, you’ll need to keep it warm when serving. You can serve it in a small crockpot that keeps food warm or in heated bowls. Once it cools, it won’t be as smooth.
How to make it ahead and store
Refrigerator: Once cooled, transfer the dip to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. Sealing the container well prevents the dip from drying out or absorbing other flavors from your fridge. I do not recommend freezing this dip.
How to reheat: When you’re ready to serve, reheat the dip gently on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently. If the dip seems too thick, add a small amount of milk or beer and whisk until you reach the desired consistency.
Serving Suggestions for Beer Cheese Dip
There are numerous ways to serve beer cheese dip in style, from bread bowls to decorative pretzel sticks. I love to serve this dip with pretzel bites or a classic pretzel, but other options include crunchy tortilla chips, fresh vegetables, or crackers.
- Cheese Selection: Your choice of cheese will dramatically impact the final flavor and texture of this beer cheese dip. This recipe calls for cheddar, which will impart a sharp and tangy bite; alternatively, you could substitute Monterey Jack or Colby cheese, or for an added kick, add some smoked Gouda to give it extra punch.
- Beer Selection: Your beer choice can enormously influence the final result of this dip, too. Lager or ale are often recommended due to their balanced flavors; feel free to experiment with different kinds if you like more robust flavors, such as a darker beer like Stout or Porter.
- Serving Temperature: This dip should be served warm for optimal results; to do so, create it shortly before serving time and warm it gently over low heat on the stove if necessary – adding milk to preserve its creamy texture.
- Use block cheese and avoid pre-shredded. Pre-shredded cheese has an additional anti-caking agent that can lead to a clumpy and grainy dip. Some pre-shredded cheeses are ideal for smooth results. Just check the package, and it should indicate creamy melt.
If you are looking for other dip recipes, try these out:
Beer Cheese Dip for Pretzels
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and constantly whisk until the mixture is smooth and bubbly, about 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly pour in beer while whisking continuously. Add milk, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in shredded cheddar cheese until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with pretzels for dipping.
- Use block cheddar and shred it yourself for the best results.
- Serve this dip warm.