Beer Cheese Sauce
A classic, easy to make Beer Cheese Sauce recipe. It is perfect for your favorite Nacho recipe, used to make a Mac & Cheese or even used as a Fondue.
Servings Prep Time
3cup 5minute
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
3cup 5minute
Cook Time
  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter and let it melt. Add the prepped onion, bay leaf, salt and sauté for 4 – 5 minutes, until the onion is transparent.
  2. Dust the onions with the flour, stirring with a flat edge spatula, so you can scrape any flour from the bottom of the pan, to make a roux. Cook the roux for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring the whole time, to prevent the flour from burning.
  3. Switching to a whisk, slowly pour in the beer, whisking to combine, getting any fond from the bottom of the pan, making sure all the lumps (if any) from the flour are dissolved. Add the cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer and adjust the heat to keep a gentle simmer. Add the peppercorns, cloves and nutmeg. Whisk the mixture occasionally over the next 30 minutes, as the flour flavor cooks out and the sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Remove the bay leaf, clove and peppercorns from the sauce. Take the sauce off the heat. Slowly add the grated cheese while whisking to combine.
  5. Taste beer cheese sauce and adjust seasoning if needed with more salt or cracked pepper.
Recipe Notes

This sauce can be made with many beer styles.  Depending on the final brew being used, you can pair the beers flavor with the type of cheese, with a cuisine in mind to pair this beer cheese sauce to almost any style of dish.  Here are a few ideas:

The Classic Cheddar Pale Ale Beer Cheese Sauce: Use a Deschutes Brewery Mirror Pond Pale Ale  and grate some Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese for this sauce.  Try it on nachos, use a cheese fondue or pour over roasted broccoli.

South of the Boarder Chipolte Smoked Jack Beer Cheese Sauce: Add a Rogue Farms Chipotle Ale and use either a pepper or smoked Monterrey Jack cheese.  This is awesome over nachos, over enchiladas, as a dip for chips, vegetables (grilled and roasted), over a baked potato or mixed in with cooked elbow macaroni, roasted peppers, caramelized onions and topped with BBQ style potato chips.

German Beer Cheese Sauce: To make the perfect dip for your fresh baked pretzel, take a Märzen | Oktoberfest and add some smoked gouda or räucherkäse cheese.  Also perfect to pour some of this over a pretzel coated pork schnitzel served with some spaetzle.

Other Beer Cheese Sauce | Fondue Tips: 

  • A wonderful loaf of sourdough bread is a great accompaniment to any fondue.  Try different local or homemade breads to further individualize the meal.
  • Blanching vegetables makes them easier to skewer and sometimes more tasty.  Take a large 10 – 12 quart pot of water adding in a 1/4 – 1/2 a cup of salt (water should taste like seawater) and bring to a boil.  Cook each prepped vegetable separately for 2 – 3 minutes, then remove from the pot and add to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
    • Vegetables that benefit from blanching: cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, green beans and asparagus.
  • But I don’t have a fondue pot, don’t worry. Try a heavy-bottom pot, double boiler or a ceramic baking dish like a soufflé dish.
  • If the cheese is not melting smoothly, add a few drops of lemon juice or malt vinegar to help break down the cheese protein.
  • Not enough fondue fork | skewers, use bamboo skewers are a substitute.
  • If the fondue is too thick, add more beer, one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Keep the fondue over low heat, if using Sterno Cooking Fuel or portable Butane stove. Too high of a temperature can scorch the fondue.
  • If using flame heat, be prepared in case of a spill and have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Other Beer Cheese Sauce| Fondue Recipes:

Beer Cheese Sauce
Beer Cheese Sauce
Chocolate Cherry Fondue
Chocolate Stout Fondue
Dungeness Crab Fondue
German Beer Cheese Sauce
Goat Cheese Fondue with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Gueuze
Hot Oil Fondue
Home Brew Chef Sean Z. Paxton
Point Reyes Blue Cheese & Oatmeal Stout Fondue
Sanctification Fondue

Executive Chef: Sean Z. Paxton

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