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Rich and creamy, this easy beer cheese dip is perfect for your next party, game night, or tailgate. Serve it with pretzels, raw veggies, crusty bread, crackers, or chips. The crowd-pleasing snack is always a hit!

Hand dipping pretzel in beer cheese dip

Beer Cheese Dip for Pretzels

Pretzel beer cheese dip is the ultimate indulgent snack, or a perfect party appetizer to share with friends and family. It’s ooey, gooey, rich, and oh-so-cheesy! We love it with big homemade soft pretzels, but it’s also delicious alongside regular crunchy pretzels, potato chips, cut-up raw vegetables, or chunks of crusty bread.

There are many versions of this dip — both hot and cold. A cold beer cheese dip is typically made with cream cheese, while a hot dip (like this one) starts with a roux and grated cheeses. The prominent flavor is of cheddar cheese and beer, with a bit of nutty Gruyere or Swiss in the background. We add extra flavor with onion powder and garlic powder, as well as some zip with a touch of cayenne. You can make it as spicy (or not) as you like!

Overhead image of a platter of beer cheese dip with pretzels

Is Pub cheese the same as beer cheese?

Pub cheese is a cold, spreadable cheese that’s sometimes made with beer. The terms can be used interchangeably, but pub style cheese doesn’t always include beer.

Pouring beer into a saucepan

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of pretzel beer cheese dip. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Salted butter: combines with the flour to make the roux that thickens the cheese sauce. If you use unsalted butter, you’ll need to add about 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  • All-purpose flour: combines with the butter to make the roux that thickens the dip.
  • Beer: any beer will work. We prefer a light lager, such as Coors Light, since it gives the dip a mild flavor. If you prefer a stronger beer flavor in your dip, use a bolder, darker beer. Pale ales will also work well!
  • Whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream: the liquid that thins the dip and gives it a rich, creamy texture. We’re basically creating a bechamel sauce with the roux and cream.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: for that classic cheese taste and the yellow-orange color.
  • Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese: gives the dip a slightly nutty flavor. You can substitute with extra cheddar if you prefer.
  • Dijon mustard: for a little bit of zesty, acidic flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: provides salty, umami flavor.
  • Onion powder and garlic powder: for subtle, savory notes in the background.
  • Cayenne pepper: gives the dip a little bit of spicy kick. Add more if you prefer a spicier dip.
Adding cheese to a saucepan

How to Make Beer Cheese Dip

This easy dip comes together on the stove top in just minutes! Make sure that you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go, because it moves quickly…

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the flour, whisking for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the beer and cream. Cook, whisking constantly, for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
  4. Reduce the heat to very low, and gradually add the cheeses. Whisk until melted and smooth.
  5. Turn off the heat.
  6. Whisk in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoning.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy immediately.
Overhead image of hand dipping a chunk of soft pretzel in homemade beer cheese dip

Serving Suggestions

Here are some of our favorite foods to eat with beer cheese dip:

Square side shot of beer cheese pretzel dip on a table

Preparation and Storage

This dip is best served immediately. If you’d like to keep it warm, serve it in a fondue pot or in a Crock Pot on the “warm” setting. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but will have a slightly grainy texture when reheated. Do not freeze the dip, as dairy-based sauces have a tendency to “break,” separate, or curdle when thawed.

Overhead shot of a bowl of beer cheese dip with pretzels

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of Gruyere or Swiss cheese, try other flavorful options, such as fontina, gouda, Colby, Colby-Jack, or Pepper Jack cheese. You can also just use extra cheddar if you prefer.
  • Add extra cayenne for a spicier dip, or omit it altogether for a mild dip.
  • Add other seasoning or spices to the dip. Try chili powder, paprika, or cumin, for instance.
Bowl of beer cheese pretzel dip on a table

Tips for the Best Beer Cheese Dip Recipe

  • Use an orange cheddar cheese (not white cheddar) to give the dip its classic yellow color.
  • Whisk and stir constantly as the dip cooks so that it keeps that smooth, creamy texture.
  • Add the cream and cheese to the pan gradually so that the ingredients can incorporate smoothly.
  • Do not let the cheese mixture get too hot, or the cheese will develop a grainy texture.
  • Don’t worry — you cannot get drunk off of beer cheese, so it’s perfectly safe to serve your kids! Most of the alcohol evaporates and cooks off, so what’s left in the dip is miniscule.
Hand eating beer cheese dip with a pretzel
Square side shot of beer cheese pretzel dip on a table

Beer Cheese Dip

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 261 kcal
Rich and creamy, this easy beer cheese dip is perfect for your next party, game night, or tailgate.

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces beer
  • ¼ cup whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • For serving: raw vegetables, soft pretzels, pretzels, crackers, potato chips, or crusty bread

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisking constantly, gradually add the flour. Cook for 1 more minute.
  • Gradually whisk in the beer and half-and-half. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens and just begins to bubble, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low and gradually add the cheeses, whisking constantly, until melted and combined. Remove from the heat.
  • Whisk in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic, powder, and cayenne pepper. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a fondue pot or on the “warm” setting in a Crock Pot.

Notes

  • Use an orange cheddar cheese (not white cheddar) to give the dip its classic yellow color.
  • Whisk and stir constantly as the dip cooks so that it keeps that smooth, creamy texture.
  • Add the cream and cheese to the pan gradually so that the ingredients can incorporate smoothly.
  • Do not let the cheese mixture get too hot, or the cheese will develop a grainy texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 11gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 274mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 592IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 341mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword: beer cheese dip, beer cheese dip for pretzels, pretzel beer cheese dip
Course: Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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