Pretzels and Beer Cheese - A Match Made in Snack Heaven

Pretzels and Beer Cheese – A Match Made in Snack Heaven

While pretzels are a delicious snack on their own, they are even better with beer cheese dip. The saltiness of the pretzel bites and beer cheese’s sharpness provide a flavorful snacking experience. 

Beer cheese and pretzels are a great snack for an afternoon of watching sports with friends or for game night with family. And, like other scrumptious snacks we love, you can customize your beer cheese dip to suit your tastes and favorite variety of OMG! Pretzels.

What is beer cheese

What is beer cheese?

Beer cheese is an appetizer or dip that is made of sharp cheddar, beer, garlic, and spices - often cayenne pepper and paprika. 

It can be warm or cold, and is typically served with crudites and crackers or pretzels. The cold version of beer cheese is soft and spreadable. The warm version of beer cheese is similar to fondue in that it’s a warm, melted dip with cheese as the primary base ingredient.

What state is known for beer cheese

What state is known for beer cheese?

There are a lot of variations on beer cheese, which is thought to have first been served in the 1940s at a restaurant in Clark County, Kentucky known as Johnnie Allman's. According to the beer cheese history books, the Allman family recipe is the “beer cheese that started it all.” Though it was unavailable for a few decades, the original recipe is once again being made by Johnnie’s grandson Ian and his wife Angie. 

Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant in the Louisville area that doesn’t have beer cheese on the menu. Here’s a list of 12 top places serving the loved appetizer according to the Courier-Journal in Louisville. Next time you’re in Kentucky, give one a try.

Is there another name for beer cheese

Is there another name for beer cheese?

Cold beer cheese, sometimes called pub cheese, can be purchased from the grocery store and is made by a variety of brands. Pub cheese can be made with or without beer, which is the only thing that sets it apart from traditional beer cheese. 

Warm beer cheese dip should be prepared at home and can include additional ingredients such as dijon mustard, evaporated milk, flour, or cream cheese. If you omit the beer, you can use vegetable stock as the liquid, and you’d be able to call it pub cheese. The warm version of beer or pub cheese is great for dipping pretzels into, so it’s our favorite.

How do you make beer cheese

How do you make beer cheese?

If you prefer knowing exactly what’s in your beer cheese, you can make both the cold and warm versions at home. To whip up a batch of cold beer cheese, you’ll need a food processor and some simple ingredients, including shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise or cream cheese, garlic, beer and dry spices like mustard and cayenne pepper. Once your ingredients are in the food processor, just blend them up until smooth. You want to add enough beer and mayo or cream cheese to make the beer cheese spreadable or dippable, but not loose. 

Prefer warm beer cheese dip? It has a few more steps than the cold version, but it is still simple to make and worth the effort! The important thing is to create a stable base that you can melt the cheese into so that the beer cheese will be creamy and delicious. There are a few methods for achieving this base:

  • Make a roux with flour and butter
  • Build your beer cheese dip with cream cheese
  • Use shelf-stable products like evaporated milk 

Once you decide on a base, you are ready to add your beer, spices and cheese. Then, serve the warm beer cheese dip with pretzels.

Pretzels & Beer Cheese Recipe - Warm and delicious

Pretzels & Beer Cheese Recipe - Warm and delicious

Here’s our favorite pretzels and beer cheese dip recipe. 

Put 4 tbsp of butter and ¼ cup of flour into a pot. Warm over low heat whisking regularly. When combined, add ¼ whole milk.

Then, add 1 tbsp of dijon mustard and 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese. 

Beer Cheese & Pretzels - Step_2_2

As cheese starts to melt, pour in 4 ounces (half a can) of beer. For this we used a lager. 

Beer Cheese & Pretzels - Step_3

Whisk over low heat until the cheese is melted through and the dip is smooth.

Beer Cheese & Pretzels - Step_4_1

Pour into a bowl and serve warm with Chesapeake OMG! Pretzels on the side dipping. 

Beer Cheese Dip and Pretzels - Pairing combinations that satisfy

Beer Cheese Dip and Pretzels - Pairing combinations that satisfy

We love to create pretzel-tastic pairings for snacking and entertaining, so here are some of our ideas for beer cheese and pretzel combinations. For each there are three key elements to consider - the beer, the cheese and the OMG! Pretzels variety. 

When you pair your beer cheese dip with our seasoned sourdough pretzel nuggets, you don’t have to worry about adding in additional spices to your recipe because our carefully-crafted seasoning blends carry plenty of bold flavor. 

What kind of beer do you use for beer cheese? 

For traditional beer cheese, opt for a malty stout beer, like Guinness, with sharp cheddar cheese. These strong flavors pair well with our Chesapeake pretzel nuggets. 

If you prefer to change things up a bit, try one of these beer cheese dip and pretzel variations:

  • Wheat beer works well with brie (be sure to remove the rind before melting). We pair this tangy beer cheese dip with our Lemon Pepper pretzel nuggets.
  • An amber ale has sweet notes that pair nicely with a salty cheese like manchego. For this beer cheese dip variation, we opt for Sweet Chili OMG! Pretzels
  • Simple, light lagers complement Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheeses. We like to keep the classic flavors going by pairing this beer cheese dip with Garlic OMG! Pretzels
  • And, since you can never have too much cheese, we recommend dipping our Cheddar Jalapeno pretzel nuggets into beer cheese made from a golden pilsner like Dos Equis and pepper jack cheese. 

Whether you like your beer cheese hot or cold, traditional or unique, we hope you give this snack combination a try. After all, beer cheese and pretzels are a snack match made in heaven.

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