Hot and Spreadable Spicy Beer Cheese
Get ready for a Kentucky classic with this delicious and quick Spicy Beer Cheese recipe! Beer cheese has been a staple of bar food, and late-night snacks for years, and it’s no wonder why. It’s simple, delicious, and fun to make! Even if you’re not an avid fan of beer, give it a try!
A Quick History Lesson
Beer Cheese has its origins in Kentucky, Clark County to be exact. Back in the 1940s, it was first served in a restaurant called Johnny Allman’s. John Allman credited the dish to his cousin, Joe Allman, who was a chef in Phoneix, Arizona. Joe’s southwestern influences help explain why the spread sometimes has spicy elements to it. On February 21, 2013, Kentucky Legislature declared Clark County as the birthplace of beer cheese.
Which Beer for Me?
In this modern world, you have your pick of the litter when it comes to which beer to make your Spicy Beer Cheese with. Here’s a quick guide to what different beers do to the flavors of your beer cheese.
- Dark Beers – Stouts, Porters, and Malts will help produce deep and bitter flavors in the cheese.
- Light Beers – Sessions, IPAs and the sort will help give a lighter, hoppier flavor
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA – You can use any IPA but we like 90 Minute IPA because it helps give a refreshing, zesty character to the cheese. It pairs well with the cheddar cheese in this recipe.
- Guinness – If you wanna spice it up, try a stout like Guinness. This will help impart a bitter coffee-like taste with a hint of sweet milk into the cheese. Try it with Irish cheeses, or farmhouse style.
- Miller High Life – This will pair well with mild cheddars, and great a mellow flavor. You’ll get hints of honey, grain-like, and a touch of lemon.
Experiment with your favorite beers, and cheeses to make your own unique variation of beer cheese. If you want to get an idea of flavors before you make a big batch of beer cheese, do a little tasting! Try a beer with the cheese you think will be good and see how it tastes and go from there!
- Start by grating 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese and 4 ounces of Gruyere
- Next, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Then add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Whisk until fully combined. The mixture should be slightly foamy.
- Slowly pour in 12 ounces of beer and 1 cup of whole milk while continuing to whisk constantly. I used an Orange Vanilla Cream Ale which gave this cheese a nice fruity flavor. Bring to a simmer, continuing to whisk often, and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Reduce heat to low and add in some Spicy Dan-O’s. Then add in the grated cheese one handful at a time. Whisking and waiting until each handful is fully melted before adding another. Remove from heat and serve immediately.