Cheese & Beer Dip is one of the most popular party dishes.
First of all, they are simple to put together. Next, cheese and beer dips can be customized to any flavor combination. Your favorite flavors can be enjoyed when added to the essential combination of beer and cheese.
As featured in Cooking & Eating with Beer (1997), the first recipe is the easiest and is as essential as possible. In the video, you will note that I add mustard and Worcestershire Sauce to my presentation. (since they are extra, they are not mentioned in the basic recipe but feel free to add them).
The Key to a Perfect Cheese & Beer Dip!
Whether whipped up in a college dorm, home kitchen, or restaurant, the key to a perfect Cheese and Beer Dip is making sure the cheese doesn’t separate into solids and liquids when melted.
Put simply, water and fat do not combine unless there is something added to help them blend into one thing. Each of the following recipes takes on the challenge of making sure the cheese doesn’t break down into fat solids and liquids by using a unique technique.
All of these techniques are used to “emulsify” the sauce. According to Wikipedia, “An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (won’t combine or mix) owing to liquid-liquid phase separation. Emulsions are part of a more general class of two-phase systems of matter called colloids.”
The Four Keys to Success:
- The first recipe simply uses a cheese that melts quickly and a second cheese in combination.
- The second recipe uses corn starch to do the trick.
- The third recipe starts the dip with a roux of butter and flour.
- The last one, egg and heavy cream, do the magic.
Each one of them can become your signature snack. The sky’s the limit when it comes to flavor. Have fun!
1) The Beer Basics Cheese & Beer Dip
As I mentioned above, this first one was featured in my book Cooking & Eating with Beer (John Wiley & Sons 1997) and is my favorite because it is the easiest.
Chef Andrew Lasseter
New York, NY
(6 to 8 servings)
Note: Use Velveeta (TM) cheese for a flawless smooth texture. (Do not tell your Gourmet friends!)
1 lb. Jalapeno Jack cheese (chopped or shredded)
1 lb. yellow cheddar or Velveeta ™ cheese (chopped or shredded)
1 plum tomato seeded and diced.
1 tbs. Chopped fresh Cilantro.
4 oz. lager
Place the cheeses and beer in a double boiler. When the cheese has melted, stir in the tomato and Cilantro.
Serve with tortilla or corn chips.
2) Easy Spicy Cheese & Lager Dip
This recipe uses a tablespoon of corn starch. Corn starch is the cooks’ friend when it comes to thickening a sauce, soup, or stew. Mixing equal amounts of water and corn starch and adding that slowly to any of the foods mentioned above will give you a nice thick, rich sauce.
2 lb. Cheddar Cheese (Cubed)
1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
12 oz. Lager Beer
¼ tsp. Red Pepper flakes
¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- Cube the cheese and toss with the Corn Starch to cover.
- Pour the beer into a cast iron frying pan and bring it to a boil.
- Add the cheese in batches and cook until smooth.
- Add Red Pepper flakes, Kosher Salt, Cayenne Pepper, and Salt.
- Stir to mix well.
- Slid under the broiler until brown on top.
Place on a hot mat or trivet and dip.
3) The Next Step Beer Cheese Dip
This recipe, from https://www.tablespoon.com/, written by Macheesmo, published September 24, 2019, uses a combination of flour and butter to make a traditional roux, the base of any sauce.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup lager beer
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1. For this dip, add butter and flour to a medium pot over medium heat. Whisk together to form a roux as the butter melts. Add garlic powder, parsley, salt, pepper, and cook roux for 1-2 minutes.
2 Whisk lager into the roux slowly until it thickens. It should be a gravy consistency. If it’s very thick, add more beer by the quarter cup.
3 Once the mixture is together, add grated cheese and whisk until melted.
4 Serve beer cheese dip immediately with soft pretzels or chips.
Try making this dip with other cheeses like Gruyère, pepper jack, or Swiss for an easy flavor switch.
Avoid using a beer that is too hoppy, as this will make your dip bitter.
4) An Egg-selent Beer & Cheese Dip
According to Amy Duska at Little Spoon Farm, “This super smooth and creamy beer cheese dip is an easy recipe that’s ready in under 10 minutes. Delicious paired with soft sourdough pretzels, like the kind you find at your local brewery!”
They use an egg and heavy cream to blend the cheese elements into a creamy combination of flavors in a pleasant texture.
1/2 cup heavy cream (no substitutes)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup beer (We recommend Pabst Blue Ribbon)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (grated by hand)
Cook the heavy cream, egg yolk, and seasonings over medium heat until just simmering. Add the beer and shredded cheese.
Stir for one minute, remove from heat and continue to stir until the cheese has melted completely. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.
Do NOT use pre-shredded cheese. It will cause your dip to be lumpy and not smooth—store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
+ 1) Beer & Cheese Dip Plus One
Oh yes, the promised plus one… The cheese dips above have more than parties to attend. All of them can be used as the essential sauce for a tasty Mac & Cheese! All need to do is prepare the pasta for half the time directed on the box, add the beer & cheese dip, reduced it so that it is just as thick as you like, place it all in an oven-proof pan and bake in a 350F oven for fifteen minutes. Then, place it under the broiler for five minutes or until the top is nice a golden brown.
A Final Thought
Cheese and beer are a match that nears perfection. What is even better are the almost infinite combinations of beer and cheese.
It would be much more fun discovering how the beer and cheese combination could be turned into a shared celebration. I am convinced that the “Dip” has the beautiful social image of people gathering to have a good time and enjoying a great tasting snack together.