There aren’t many words in the English language that elicit as strong of a response as beer or cheese for guys. Like Pavlov’s dog, sensory neurons in the brain start firing at the words’ mere sound. So, the creation of beer cheese is almost an act of cruelty towards any man trying to exhibit a modicum of self-control.
But, self-control be damned, we say! There are times when we have to cut loose and enjoy one of man’s most outstanding achievements in comfort foods. Some of those best times are while watching the game with your pals, at holiday gatherings, during dinner parties, or while shame eating after a breakup. The truth is, anytime is a great time to enjoy beer cheese.
The problem is, it can be hard to find in grocery stores since it’s a specialty item. The good news is, you can make beer cheese anytime you want in your home. All you need is a nonstick saucepan, a few simple ingredients, your favorite beer, and your favorite cheese.
The great thing about beer cheese is that you can experiment with different beers, cheeses, and seasonings if you enjoy variety. The recipe below includes some of our favorite ingredients. The only thing that remains constant is the amount of butter and flour you need to make the roux for the cheese sauce and the milk to stir in for creaminess.
So, think more of this recipe as a guide, and go nuts making homemade beer cheese.
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- One stick of butter cut up in pads
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 & 1/3 cup of beer (we used Guinness)
- 2 cups shredded white cheddar
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic (garlic powder works)
- 1 teaspoon of granulated onion (onion powder works)
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- Heat 2qt, nonstick saucepan over medium heat.
- Add butter and melt.
- Whisk in flour and seasonings and let cook for 2 minutes, not letting the roux get too dark.
- Whisk in milk and beer until smooth, letting the mixture reach a low simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and fold in cheese a half cup at a time until beer cheese is nice and creamy.
- If the mixture is too thick, slowly stir in more milk until you reach the desired consistency.
As we mentioned before, you can use any beer you want for beer cheese, even non-alcoholic. Think about what you’re dipping in your cheese. If it’s something salty, like a pretzel or chip, think of using a heavier beer (stout or IPA beer) that won’t be overshadowed by the saltiness. If your dipping veggies or pita, a lighter beer (lager, wheat beer, or kolsch) would complement the freshness nicely.
Like the beer, what cheese you use for beer cheese is entirely up to your taste preference. The main thing is to use cheese that melts well. So steer clear of feta, blue cheese, brie, and gorgonzola unless you like chunky beer cheese. We like to use a majority of sharp cheese such as cheddar (which is common for most beer cheese) cut with a very melty, mild cheese for texture (fontina, mozzarella, provolone) and add in a pungent cheese for flavor (parmesan, pecorino, swiss).
You can always spice up your beer cheese by adding some fresh veggies, herbs, and spices. Here are some ingredient ideas for your next batch.
- Fresh, diced jalapenos
- Minced garlic
- Minced shallot
- Finely chopped rosemary
- Worcestershire sauce
- Celery salt
- Truffle oil
- Minced mushrooms
- Spicy/Dijon mustard
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