Beer Cheese Dip Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
Whip up this beer cheese dip recipe and grab some pretzels for an easy, pub-style snack.

Updated: Apr. 30, 2024

Some people make warm beer cheese dip because they crave its smooth, velvety texture, and then they happily slide whatever chip or cracker they can find into the dip. I first made this beer cheese dip recipe for the opposite reason: I wanted to show off my homemade sourdough pretzel bites. Now, we place bets to see which disappears more quickly—the pretzels or the dip.

This version of the pub staple is essentially a Mornay sauce, which is a cheesy spin on a basic white sauce that creates the best mac and cheese and other creamy dishes. Just replace some of the milk with beer and add a few other ingredients to transform the sauce into an easy beer cheese dip for pretzels that is finger-licking good.

Ingredients for Beer Cheese Dip

  • Butter: Butter accounts for half the ingredients in a roux, which we make in the first step of this recipe. When combined with flour or another pure starch like cornstarch, butter becomes a paste that thickens liquids as it is whisked in and heated.
  • Flour: When deciding on the best thickener for this beer cheese dip recipe, flour became the prime choice because of its status as a kitchen staple. A bonus is that it keeps the dip thick even when you reheat leftovers.
  • Spices: The core ingredients in this recipe taste even better when you slip in a few spices. White pepper, onion powder and garlic powder all add a little zip without changing the dip’s color.
  • Milk: With all the cheese in this dip, you can use 2% milk (as opposed to whole milk) without sacrificing richness. More milk fat just competes with the beer and cheese, making the dip overly creamy.
  • Beer: Pale and dark beers work equally well in this recipe. A lager creates a more subtle flavor, whereas a brown ale or a wheat beer lends its distinctive profile to the dip. Avoid bitter and hoppy brews.
  • Dijon: Prepared mustard quickly adds another layer to this dip. If you start with a homemade Dijon mustard recipe, straining out the mustard seed skins will keep your dip glossy and free of speckles.
  • Worcestershire: This fermented condiment adds an appealing savory tang. It’s made with anchovies or sardines, so vegetarians can leave it out or substitute a vegan version that mimics traditional Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cheddar: Cheddar’s sharpness complements a beer’s bitterness so well that it has become the standard for cheesy pub dips. Go ahead and use sharp cheddar or even extra-sharp cheddar if you love its taste. Mild cheddar or American cheese will seem bland by comparison.
  • Swiss or Gruyere: For even more complex cheesiness, toss in a little Swiss or Gruyere cheese in addition to the cheddar. These cheeses have a slightly nutty flavor and melt readily, making them the cheeses of choice for many dips and cheese fondue recipes.


Step 1: Make the roux

A hand holding a saucepan and whisking the mixture with the other handTMB Studio

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, stirring until smooth.

Step 2: Thicken the sauce

 Beer Cheese Dip Ft24 276092 Ec 032624 3TMB Studio

Gradually whisk in the milk and beer. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then cook and stir until thickened, one to two minutes.

Editor’s Tip: Adding each liquid by barely a trickle while constantly whisking thickens the mixture quickly and keeps lumps from forming.

Step 3: Add the cheese

 Beer Cheese Dip Ft24 276092 Ec 032624 5TMB Studio

Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheddar and Gruyere or Swiss cheese, and stir until the cheese has melted. Garnish the dip with minced chives if desired.

Editor’s Tip: The cheese might melt more readily—and with less clumping—if you add it in handfuls instead of all at once.

A bowl of beer cheese dip next to pretzelsTMB Studio

Beer Cheese Dip Variations

  • Experiment with other cheeses: Soft cheeses like cream cheese, young cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella, and aged hard cheeses all react differently in dips because of their moisture content. For a cheese that behaves like cheddar in this recipe, try pepper jack or Colby. If you use creamier cheeses, you might not need to add milk, as you’ll find in recipes like this Obatzda (German cheese dip).
  • Try other flavors: A beer cheese dip recipe can handle spicy or even slightly sweet flavors. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce or a small amount of chili paste. Offset the beer’s bitterness with a splash of maple syrup. Mash in some roasted garlic, and sprinkle in a bit of smoked paprika for a hint of smokiness.
  • Add some texture: Some of our best cheese dip recipes add chunky ingredients like chiles, bacon or beans.
  • Pair with homemade pretzels: You can’t go wrong with the classic pairing of beer dip and pretzels. Some people (like me) even make beer cheese dip for pretzels specifically, and making your own chewy soft pretzels only upgrades this savory snack. If you love the crunch of pretzels, you might prefer to dip in hard ones and use any left in the bag for one of our perfect pretzel recipes.

How to Store Beer Cheese Dip

Beer cheese dip will separate if frozen, so store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days. It becomes firm when chilled. To reheat the dip, scrape it into a saucepan and warm it over low heat, whisking it constantly, until it warms through and softens into a sauce again. If it’s still too thick when completely smooth, add just a splash of milk and keep whisking until the milk is fully incorporated.

Beer Cheese Dip Tips

A bowl of beer cheese dip with pretzels on the sideTMB Studio

What’s the best beer for beer cheese dip?

Almost any beer works in a beer dip, from light lagers to nutty brown ales, but save beers high in international bitterness units (IBUs), like a hoppy Indian pale ale or a sour beer like lambic, for sipping. The bitterness or acidity might be tasty in the glass but will become overpowering when cooked into a dairy-heavy recipe. Instead, use a lager or Kolsch for a mild beer flavor or a low-IBU scotch ale, porter or stout for a darker, robust dip.

What can you serve with beer cheese dip?

If you choose pretzels—chewy or crunchy—for beer cheese dip, you have a natural winning team, but other dippers work too. Sturdy tortilla or pita chips can support the dip’s weight. Apple and pear wedges play well with the flavors, as do carrot sticks or broccoli florets. Skewer slices of hot kielbasa or whole roasted cremini mushrooms on thick toothpicks for easy dipping.

When still hot and pourable, this dip can be used to top oven fries, roasted potatoes, grilled cauliflower or nachos. You can even stir the beer cheese dip into hot pasta for a quick stovetop mac and cheese.

How can you keep beer cheese dip warm for serving?

If you know the dip will be eaten slowly, serve it in a fondue pot or a mini slow cooker set on warm to keep it velvety. A skin will form across the surface as beer cheese dip cools, but the overall density means a quick stir can evenly redistribute the warm center. Once the beer cheese dip recipe fully cools to room or refrigerated temperature, the roux can make the dip look gritty. Reheating just before serving solves the problem.

Easy Beer Cheese Dip

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 3 cups.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash white pepper
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • Minced chives, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and beer. Stir in mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese; stir until melted. If desired, garnish with minced chives.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup: 177 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 41mg cholesterol, 305mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 8g protein.

You can use any kind of beer for this dip recipe. For a lighter beer flavor, go with lager. If you want the beer flavor to be more pronounced, try an ale or wheat beer. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen