Smooth and creamy beer cheese dip is a crowd pleasing appetizer that's easy to make and ready in 15 minutes. It pairs perfectly with pub-style soft pretzels, crackers, veggie trays and just about anything else you can think to dip into it!
What's great about this recipe
- It's a craving-satisfying pub-style appetizer at home!
- It can be made in 15 minutes or less.
- You can choose from a wide variety of beer styles.
- You can dip anything into it, and soft pretzels are what it's best with.
- It can be made ahead of time and warmed up.
- It can be kept in a slow cooker to keep warm.
- It's perfect for game day or Super bowl snacking, gatherings, and weekend snacks for a crowd.
Choose a light flavored beer like a lager or pale ale. Avoid IPA's, which (albeit delicious, and my favorite type of beer) have too strong of a hop flavor. Also steer clear of stouts; while delicious on a winter evening, they don't go well in beer cheese.
Use a mild or medium cheddar cheese, as sharp cheeses don't melt as smoothly. DO NOT USE PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE.
Smoke paprika adds a literal smoky flavor to the beer cheese, but you can opt for sweet paprika instead.
Cayenne pepper is spicy, so use a very small pinch, or substitute with black or white pepper.
Use a full fat cream cheese, a low fat cream cheese won't result in as smooth smooth melt.
How to make this recipe
Sauté the minced red bell pepper, garlic, and onion in a bit of butter until softened (photo 1). You can mince the vegetables very finely, or leave them chunky. (For an ultra smooth cheese, without this texture, puree the mixture after the beer is added.)
Add the beer (at this point, you can use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables with the beer for an ultra smooth cheese) and cream cheese (photo 2).
Stir the cream cheese and beer over medium low heat until the cream cheese has fully melted (photo 3).
Add the shredded cheese and stir on medium low heat until smooth and creamy (photo 4).
Tips and Tricks
- Shred the cheese off the block; pre shredded cheese has anti-caking ingredients that don't allow it to melt as smoothly.
- Keep the heat below medium to melt the cheese. Heating it too high can cause the cheese proteins to separate and become grainy.
- To make the cheese ultra smooth, puree the sautéed peppers and onions after the beer is poured in the pot. Conversely, leave them minced for a slight bit of texture in the beer cheese dip.
- Choose a light, low-hop beer like a lager or pale ale.
Love pub-style snacks? You don't need to find a corner booth to enjoy them! Just bring the beer, find a comfy seat on the couch, and try all of these crunchy, salty, craving-satisfying appetizers.
More pub-style appetizer recipes:
Cream Cheese and Crab Fried Raviolis-- are creamy inside, hot and crispy outside, and perfect for indulging in (if you like Crab Rangoon's- these are right up your alley!)
Sweet Potato Fries-- the French Fry's sweeter sibling. Sweet and salt and crispy and oh-so dip-able!
Spicy Mayo-- a must have for any pub-style fried snack.
**Did you make this recipe, and did you make it "smooth style" or leave the pepper pieces? Let me know in the comments!
Beer Cheese Dip
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ red bell pepper diced, optional
- 2 cloves garlic minced, optional
- ½ onion minced, optional
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz medium cheddar cheese shredded off the block
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded off the block
- 1 cup light beer lager, or pale ale
- If opting to use the fresh bell pepper, onion and garlic (totally optional) dice and mince them up first.
- In a small sauce pan on medium high heat, add butter, diced bell pepper, minced garlic and onion, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, and dried parsley. Saute 4-5 minutes until veggies are soft and seasonings are fragrant.
- Leaving heat on medium high, pour in the beer. Simmer and reduce for 3-4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Add in the cream cheese, in pieces.
- Stir on low, until combined.
- Shred the cheddar cheese directly off the block (do not use pre-shredded cheese) and add to pot. Stir on low until completely smooth and melted; about 10-15 minutes.
- Serve warm, with soft pretzels. Store in airtight container for up to one week.
- Either on the stove top, on low, covered, stirring occasionally. Do not turn the heat past medium low at the highest.
- Or, in the microwave, at 40% power for one minute intervals, stirring in between until loosened, creamy and warm again.
- After the beer is added, and the cream cheese has melted, use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients until smooth. (This should be done before the shredded cheese has been added, for best results.)