Beer Cheese Sauce | How do you make cheese sauce even better? Let's add some beer and some brine from pickled jalapeños! With just a handful of simple ingredients you'll have a cheese sauce you won't want to stop eating! Makes the perfect game day appetizer with soft pretzels or just on top of french fries or steamed broccoli.
Who can we petition to make cheese a vegetable? And also healthier? Cuz I'd eat this cheese dip like a soup if it was healthier. Hey, there's a good idea for recipe development - a cheese sauce similar to a vegan one with carrots and potatoes but still using some sharp cheddar for the flavor! I think I'd eat that. But who cares about that for now, back to this delicious beer cheese sauce!
If you're looking for a great appetizer for the next big game day, whether it's an NFL or NHL game at this time of year, I'm telling you, this one is perfect. It's cheesy, it's got great flavor from the beer and the jalapeño juice gives it just a little bit of a spicy kick. You can definitely skip the jalapeño juice, but I loveitsomuch! No one will EVER convince me to skip it!
Yes, I get excited about food. You'll be excited too after smothering something in this cheesy saucy gold! Read on for how to make it.
How to Make a Beer Cheese Sauce
When making a cheese sauce, as with many recipes, it's best to get everything prepped and measured before you even turn on the stovetop.
Get the butter and flour measured. Shred the cheese and measure out the beer and milk. And get your jar of pickled jalapenos. You can leave this out if you don't regularly have this on hand. I always do because I love pickled jalapenos. Storebought or homemade is fine, I use both, depending on what I have.
To start, we'll make a roux. This is easy so don't let it scare you. Medium heat is the sweet spot for me. Too high and you'll burn the butter and not high enough it takes too long to cook out the flour.
So heat a frying pan over medium heat. Melt the butter. Once it's sizzling, add the flour and whisk it in with the butter. You want to cook the flour completely but not brown it too much. This will take about a minute or so.
Next, you'll add the beer. Adding it now cooks out a lot of the alcohol (If you're worried about that) and leaves you with a great flavor. The mixture will turn pasty and thick. It's fine. The milk will thin it out. So add the milk now. I do this slowly while whisking, so I get a smooth sauce without lumps. It's worth taking the time.
Once the milk is incorporated, add the jalapeño juice. Continue to heat the liquid almost to simmer. Then start to slowly add the cheese. Whisk while you add the cheese. This will also help with avoiding lumps.
Once the cheese is all mixed in, the sauce is ready! Serve it up in whatever dish you like. I like to serve mine with tortilla chips, for dipping, but you could use whatever you like, for example:
- Everything Bagel Soft Pretzels
- hard pretzels
- bread cubes
- over top steamed broccoli or cauliflower, or french fries!
- cooked sausage slices
I like to put a few pickled Slowly add the cheese and whisk together. Serve hot. Optionally, garnish with a few pickled jalapeños on top when serving so that other people know it's spicy, in case I don't have a chance to tell them.
And don't forget to make these Everything Bagel Soft Pretzels to go with this! I created these recipes together and I love serving them together. The combo is truly impressive for guests.
Questions About Making a Cheese Sauce with beer
What beer should I use for a cheese sauce?
Whatever beer you like to drink. I usually use Corona, Modelo or Pacifica (all Mexican beers), because I like them. I've also made it with Budweiser, in a pinch.
What cheese should I use for a beer cheese sauce?
I use sharp cheddar for most of my cheese sauces because I love the flavor of sharp cheese. You can use mild or medium cheese, and you'll end up with a milder flavor cheese sauce.
Beer Cheese Sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup beer of your choice
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon brine from pickled jalapeño jar (optional)
- 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar (8 oz brick)
- pickled jalapeños for garnish (optional)
- Melt the butter in a frying pan or a pot, over medium heat. As soon as it's melted, add the flour.
- Whisk the flour into the butter, cooking for about a minute or so, or until there is no raw flour.
- Add the beer and whisk it in. It will be a bit pasty, that's fine. Slowly whisk the milk in until it's fully incorporated and smooth. Add the jalapeño juice if using and heat milk over medium, stopping before a boil. This only takes a few minutes.
- Slowly add the cheese and whisk together. Serve hot. Optionally, garnish with a few pickled jalapeños.
Nutritional information is an estimate only, intended for informational purposes, and not to be used as medical or dietary advice. The estimate is based on a nutrition calculator and every recipe will vary slightly depending on the products you use in your home. This estimate is per serving. Your nutrition facts could vary. Changing the serving size on the recipe card may affect ingredient amounts, nutrition, prep time, and/or cook time.