Your favorite beer paired with your favorite cheese, isn’t that a match made in heaven? Sauces or dips go down well with all sorts of appetizers and will turn an average meal into a mouthwatering delicacy and the classic beer cheese sauce is no exception.
If you are craving for something beery and cheesy, come along. We’ll show you how to make beer cheese sauce that is set to be a crowd-pleaser.
What you will need to make beer cheese sauce:
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon of each desired seasoning including onion powder, cloves powder, black pepper, etc.
- 1 can of beer
- 2 teaspoons of cheddar cheese
- ½ cup of mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup of milk
Tips for Choosing a Beer
Although any beer and cheese will get the job done, to make a gourmet-level dip, you should pay close attention to the ingredients you use in this recipe. Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing a beer:
There are basically three categories of beer to choose from for your recipe. These include dark, light, and non-alcoholic beers.
Opt for dark beers such as stouts, which are hoppy, if you want a bitter flavor for your sauce. Light beers such as pale ales have light, sweeter undertones. Non-alcoholic beers are a great alternative if you are after an alcohol-free recipe without sacrificing the malty flavor that beer offers.
Your choice of beer will depend on what you are serving with the sauce. Light beers will yield a light, sweet, and spicy dip and will pair up well with equally mild appetizers such as roasted veggies including zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
Dark beers have a bold flavor that will overpower foods with subdued flavors. So, if you go with a strong stout or malt, pair up your sauce with strongly flavored accompaniments such as bread or tortilla chips.
All in all, the choice of beer really depends on your palate. Still, we would recommend steering away from excessively bitter beers. Instead, go for balance—something boozy but with some sweet, caramel, creamy undertones.
Now that you know how to select your beer, let’s move on to the cheese.
Tips For Using Cheese in A Beer Cheese Sauce Recipe
Your choice of cheese will go a long way in determining the consistency and overall flavor of this sauce.
There is no wrong cheese per se, just like there is no wrong beer choice. But, some types of cheese will stand out more than others. In the end, your choice will depend on the kind of flavor you are after.
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid low moisture cheeses: The secret to a good beer cheese sauce is how well the cheese melts. You will get better results with moderately moist cheeses that melt well and are made from cow’s milk.
- Opt for low acid cheeses: Cheeses that are low in acid melt better. Try to avoid the likes of ricotta or goat cheese as these have a high acid content and they will typically not melt.
- Choose young cheese: Aged cheese might pair well with wine but these are not the best for making creamy dips. This is because aging causes the protein in cheese to lump together, which reduces the melty-ness of the cheese.
- Experiment with multiple kinds of cheese: Do not shy away from using more than one type of cheese. You can pair cheddar with mozzarella and swiss cheese for example. Mozzarella will add body to your sauce while cheddar offers a deliciously distinct flavor. Just be sure to pair mildly flavored cheeses with light beers and bold cheeses with stronger beers to balance off the flavors.
- Use room temperature cheese: Just like butter, cheese works best at room temperature. For this recipe, you want your cheese of choice to melt slowly so that it blends well with hot beer without forming any clumps. A smart idea is to shred your cheese while it is cold and then bring it to room temperature to avoid the clumpy problem that some people usually encounter when they first try this recipe.
- Use starch to help the cheese melt better: When the cheese comes to room temperature, sprinkle some corn starch or flour on it. This prevents the fat in the cheese from clumping together, which can inhibit the melting process. The flour or corn starch also thickens the water released when the cheese starts to melt. This way, the water and fat component of the cheese will not separate abruptly, which is the main cause of clumpy cheese and eventually, a clumpy dip.
- Avoid adding cheese into hot beer: A common mistake people make with this recipe is adding cheese to a hot liquid. This causes the fat to separate too fast, which will certainly lead to a chunky sauce. The better approach is to let the liquid, which in this case is the beer, to cool off before adding the cheese. The result will be a smoother, creamier sauce with none of the unpalatable clumps.
Instructions: How To Make Beer Cheese Sauce
Beer cheese sauce is among the easiest and tastiest dips you will ever make. Follow these easy instructions and you will have your sauce ready in a few minutes:
- First, prepare the base mixture, also known as the roux. Simply mix melted butter, flour, and seasonings in a saucepan and cook for one minute to form a thick paste.
- Gradually, transfer beer and some milk into the saucepan and whisk. Whisking will thicken the mixture.
- Now that you have a thick, consistent mixture, add small amounts of shredded room temperature cheese and stir with each addition until the cheese melts.
- Taste and add salt and other seasonings as needed. Serve immediately.
Best Accompaniments for Beer Cheese Sauce
What should you serve with creamy beer cheese sauce? Well, there are plenty of options. Here are some suggestions:
- Fruit: Pair the tangy sauce with sweet, crunchy fruit such as pears or apples.
- Vegetables: Mildly-flavored, crunchy vegetables like mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower go down well with a cheesy, beery dip.
- Bread: Serve beer cheese sauce with a variety of breads such as French bread, soft bread, sourdough, and pretzels just to mention a few.
- Meats: Meat and beer is a classic combination and this dip will go really well with a juicy beefsteak, bratwurst burger, or with quick bitings such as mini smokies.
We’ve rounded a few more tips to help you make the best beer cheese sauce on your first trial.
1. Fix a broken sauce
Sometimes, even the best laid out plan fails and this applies to your beer cheese dip recipe. Any slight temperature changes can affect the cheese and cause the sauce to break. If this happens, do not be too quick to toss it out. Instead, follow these simple steps to fix a broken sauce:
- Transfer the sauce to a blender. Pulse it on low speed to combine the water and cheese into a consistent dip.
- Sieve the sauce into a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of whipping cream. Heat the sauce on low as you stir regularly until the sauce regains its smooth, creamy consistency.
- If the sauce is still thin, mix corn starch with a tablespoon of cold water at a ratio of 1:1 and slowly add it to the sauce. Continue heating and stirring for a few minutes until the dip thickens.
2. Reuse leftover beer cheese sauce
To reuse leftover beer cheese dip, reheat it on a stovetop over low heat. Stir to incorporate any clump of cheese. Alternatively, you can pop the sauce in the microwave for a quick heat up.
3. Refrigerate to extend the shelf life
Do not leave your dip on the countertop. Although alcohol does not go bad, the sauce contains cheese, which has a short shelf life. If you have quite some sauce at hand, you can preserve it for up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. We do not recommend freezing the dip as the cheese will separate and this will affect the flavor and consistency of the dip.
As you can see, you do not have to be a culinary pro to learn how to make beer cheese sauce. Not only is this dip easy to make with readily available ingredients but it is also very versatile. Pair it with meats, breads, fruits, and veggies and bring out the best in these simple accompaniments.
Do you have any questions or comments on making beer cheese sauce at home? Let us know—we’d love to hear from you.