Beer Cheese Dip – Once Upon a Chef

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Made with lager, sharp Cheddar, and nutty Gruyère, this beer cheese is perfect for game day or any casual get-together.

Beer Cheese Dip

Perfect for game day or any time you’re having people over, beer cheese is a melty cheese dip made from lager, sharp Cheddar, nutty Gruyère, and other seasonings. It’s essentially a twist on Mornay sauce, the classic French cheesy sauce that forms the basis of traditional mac and cheese, only instead of milk, the liquid used is a combination of half & half and beer. My family loves this dip with homemade soft pretzel bites, but the dipping options are endless—tortilla chips, baguette slices, crackers, or crudités are all great options. The dip is also delicious slathered on top of a juicy burger. This recipe comes together very quickly, so be sure to have everything measured and ready to go before you start cooking.

Table of Contents

“Easy to make, comes together quickly, and loved by all!”

Lisa

What You’ll Need To Make Beer Cheese Dip

ingredients for beer cheese

Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, a few notes about the ingredients:

  • Butter and All-Purpose Flour: These form the base of the roux, a thickening agent that gives the dip’s cheese sauce base a creamy texture.
  • Lager Beer and Half & Half: The liquid components for the cheese sauce base; beer adds a malty flavor, while half & half brings creaminess and richness.
  • Dijon Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper: These flavorings contribute depth, tanginess, savory notes, and a hint of heat.
  • Cheddar Cheese and Gruyère Cheese: These cheeses melt into the sauce, giving the dip a smooth, creamy texture and a complex flavor combination—sharp and bold from the Cheddar, nutty and slightly sweet from the Gruyère.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

melting butter

Add the flour.

adding flour to make roux

Whisk until the flour is completely absorbed. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. A flat whisk is the best tool for the job, as it’s easy to reach the corners of the saucepan.

whisking the roux

While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the beer and half & half. Whisk in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.

whisking in beer, half-and-half, and seasoning

Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, whisking frequently, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.

bubbling sauce

With the heat on low, add the cheeses a handful at a time.

adding cheese to sauce

Whisk between each addition, until the cheese is fully melted before adding more.

beer cheese in pan

Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh chives, if using. Serve immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is lager beer?

Lager is a family of beers that includes bright lagers, amber lagers, dark lagers, Oktoberfests, and pilsners. I used Fat Tire because that what I had on hand, but Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite are all good options. No need to use anything fancy!

What brands of cheese do you recommend?

For the Cheddar, you can use a good supermarket brand, like Cabot or Tillamook. For the Gruyère, look in the gourmet cheese section for a Swiss-made cheese that bears the AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) seal, which shows that the cheese is authentic.

Can I make beer cheese dip ahead of time?

Yes! Beer cheese dip can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and reheated over medium-low heat on the stovetop until warmed through. If it’s too thick, add a bit of half and half to thin it out.

beer cheese dip on plate with pretzel bites

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Beer Cheese Dip

Made with lager, sharp Cheddar, and nutty Gruyère, this beer cheese is perfect for game day or any casual get-together.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lager beer (see note)
  • 1½ cups half & half
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 oz (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz (1 cup) shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until the flour is completely absorbed. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1 minute.
  2. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the beer and half & half. Whisk in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, whisking frequently, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
  3. With the heat on low, add the cheeses a handful at a time, whisking between each addition, until the cheese is fully melted before adding more. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh chives, if using. Serve immediately.
  4. Note: Lager is a family of beers that includes bright lagers, amber lagers, dark lagers, Oktoberfests, and pilsners. I used Fat Tire because that what I had in the house, but Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite are all good options. No need to use anything fancy!
  5. Make-Ahead Instructions: Beer cheese dip can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and reheated over medium-low heat on the stovetop, whisking frequently, until warmed through. If it’s too thick, add a bit of half and half to thin it out.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 4 tablespoons
  • Calories: 254
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated fat: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 270 mg
  • Cholesterol: 62 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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