I think I’ve been in kind of a dream or maybe an alternate reality here at my folk’s in South Dakota. It’s November and the weather’s super mild. Not even sweater weather. I could almost be in denial except there’s no denying other fall signals. Leaves, for one. Sporting events for another. And that means snacks, amirite? How about a little smooth, creamy tasty Pub Cheese or Beer Cheese? Yes, puhlese!
Pub Cheese a.k.a. Beer Cheese is so ridiculously good and so ridiculously easy, I swear you’re gonna want to make it (and eat it) all the time. Get yourself some good cheese, a decent sharp cheddar is best; it has the heft to stand up to the beer, and sacrifice a little of your favorite beer for this spread. It’s worth it, I promise.
About Pub Cheese or Beer Cheese:
Oh gosh, is it good! You may never go to the pub again. 🙂 Not that I’ve ever been to a pub that served this Beer Cheese, but apparently that’s where the name pub cheese comes from.
I like my Pub Cheese best cold, spread crackers or crostini. You just have take it out of the fridge a bit ahead of time so it’s not too hard to spread, because this cheese does firm up once refrigerated.
Or you could take it a step further, add a little more beer and turn it into a wonderful dip to serve with soft or hard pretzels (maybe my Soft Pretzels), pita chips, veggies or apples. If you want to, you can gently heat in the microwave on half power and keep stirring about every 30 seconds or so for a warm dip.
Making Pub Cheese or Beer Cheese:
As far as the beer goes, darker, stronger beers will hijack the flavor of the dip, so choose something light. Most of all, make sure you love the flavor of the beer because you will taste it in the cheese. I’m not name dropping, but my photo shows what I like in this dip. An Irish beer would never be inappropriate, here, either!
When you first taste Pub Cheese? You might think I’m nuts – set it aside in the fridge and let those flavors get all comfy together for at least 20 to 30 minutes and then try it again…oh yeaaa. Then you’ll “get” it. I can’t stop eating it, and I bet you won’t be able to either. (It does become firmer in the fridge, btw, so keep that in mind as you make it.)
Varying Pub Cheese or Beer Cheese:
You can keep your dip very mild and let that Cheesy Beer goodness shine on its own, or you can put all kinds of fun stuff! I like the combo, in my recipe, a little cayenne coz I like a little tingle in the back of the throat that says, “Hey, I’m here!” I also love horseradish, so had to have it. (When I was pregnant with my son I’d eat horseradish right out of the jar!) I love the bite mustard powder gives this dip. Anytime I use dry mustard, people are like, “What’s IN this?” And mustard powder’s always in my Top Secret Super Stealth Arsenal of Ingredients.
You can add jalapeno or other peppers – I have so been meaning to try a little Chipotle in my Pub Cheese but just haven’t gotten around to it. You can use Dijon or a grainy mustard. Garlic can go in your Beer Cheese Dip, too, but I’d prefer to use a powder coz fresh can taste really raw and strong and gets stronger with time.
Saving Money on Pub Cheese or Beer Cheese:
Do watch for great sales on beer around any holiday and stock up. There are huge markdowns…maybe get email updates from your favorite shop.
Try to use the best Cheddar you can for this dip, but don’t go outrageously pricey – you are going to be putting beer in it after all! If you’re going to go with a grocery store cheese Cracker Barrel is decent in this, and some of the plain old cheese in the store has gotten a bit better. Maybe a sharp Cheddar. Watch for sales; one brand or another of cheese is almost always on sale. I’ve found great prices on the Cracker Barrel around Christmas and New Year.
If you’re a member of a Buyer’s Club, you probably know already that you can get some great cheese at a decent price, but you have to buy a larger block of it than you’d need for this recipe. If I went that route, I’d probably make this Pub Cheese with some and then maybe a cheese soup with the rest, maybe my Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar (it doesn’t have to be a white cheese) or my Beer Cheese Soup (we eat it with popcorn up Nord here in Minnesota!)Print
Pub Cheese or Beer Cheese
- Total Time: 10 minutes + rest
- Yield: about 2 cups 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- 8 ounces of good Cheddar, finely shredded
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- about 1/2 cup beer (hold out about two tablespoons and then add if it needs to be creamier, or add even more if you’d like it to be more a dip than a spread)
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white Worcestershire
- 1 1/2 teaspoons horseradish
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (add to taste after everything is mixed)
Process all ingredients in a food processor, stopping once or twice to scrape the bottom and sides. Process for two or three minutes until dip is very smooth and creamy.
Rest for about 20 minutes in the fridge to blend flavors before serving. Spread will firm up with refrigeration, so if you refrigerate longer, take it out ahead of time so it’s spreadable.
Keeps for about a week.
I’ll be sharing Pub Cheese or Beer Cheese on our very own Throwback Thursday Link Party as well as on Fiesta Friday. The co-hosts are Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen. It wouldn’t be Saturday without linking up at Saucy Saturdays blog hop!