Velvety smooth and robust in flavor – this beer cheese soup recipe is perfectly creamy, beautifully cheddar-cheesy, and accentuated with rich ale flavor. Easy to prepare, made in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less, this cheese soup with beer is perfect for cozy weeknight dinners or it’s a delicious addition to any game day spread!
Featured comment: I made this soup today and it is sooo good! I love it. Fits right into my cheese obsession. It was really easy too. I think it will become a staple in my kitchen. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!” – Becky
Serve this flavorful beer soup with soft pretzel rolls for a fast dinner, or pair it alongside grilled chicken sausages for more balanced meal. Or, try it with pigs in a blanket for dunking on game day. Continue to read on for pro-tips and don’t miss the step by step recipe video at the bottom of the article!
Updated: This post was originally published in October 2016. I took new photos and updated the post below to include more information about beer soup. I also added step by step photos and a recipe video to show you how quick and easy this beer cheddar soup is to make!
Hi, friends. Happy Thursday! We are so close to the weekend I can almost feel those good vibrations!
In celebration of the upcoming weekend, and today being Thirsty Thursday, I decided we should eat our alcohol as well as drink it too. Because, life is entirely too short not to! Am I right, or am I right?
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About this beer cheese soup recipe
If you love classic beer cheese dip you’ll flip for this cheese soup with beer. Seriously, this soup tastes like a big, warm hug on a cold, lonely day. Essentially, it’s the definition of cozy, comfort food!
This Wisconsin beer cheese soup is impossibly creamy, perfectly cheesy and jam packed with harmonious, robust flavors – it’s loaded with two types of cheeses, studded with sweet pimentos and accentuated with rich beer flavor! It’s beer cheese soup gone soulfully southern, and it is almost too good for words!!
If you are a fan of queso cheese dip or beer cheese, you are going to absolutely, positively love this soup! It basically tastes like a soup version of cheese dip with a healthy dose of beer for good measure. It’s heavenly delicious, decadent and absolutely everything a cheese soup should be!
Plus, this beer cheddar soup is so incredibly easy to prepare – it’s made in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less! It’s perfect for an easy, comforting weeknight dinner! Or, it’s a delicious addition to any game day party menu! Because, beer + cheese = touchdown! (Obviously!)
What is beer cheese soup?
Beer cheese soup, also known as beer soup, is a rich roux-based soup made with beer and shredded cheese.
In Medieval times, creamy beer cheese soup was served for breakfast; however, now it’s commonly served as a side or entree at lunch or dinner.
Where did beer in soup originate?
Beer soup is a classic dish that originated in Germany. However, there are many versions of this soup. The European version includes egg yolk(s), while the Sorbian version includes raisins and sweet cream.
American-style beer soup as we know it came from German immigrants who brought the tradition with them when they settled in Wisconsin.
What does cheese and ale soup taste like?
Beer soup is creamy in texture with a rich, cheesy taste and plenty of nutty ale and umami flavors.
Ingredients for this beer and cheese soup recipe
This recipe only requires 11 ingredients plus a few pantry seasonings to create a soup that is robust in flavor and silky, smooth in texture!
- Butter: Three tablespoons of unsalted butter is needed to sauté the vegetables and provide fat for the roux.
- Shallots: Two large shallot provide a delicate touch of onion flavor. You can substitute 3/4 cup of finely diced yellow onion or sweet onion instead.
- Celery: One medium rib of celery adds a touch of distinct earthy sweetness.
- Jalapeño: A finely diced jalapeño gives the soup a touch of heat. If you don’t like spicy foods, make sure you remove both the seeds and the ribs from the jalapeño before dicing.
- Flour: Six tablespoons of all-purpose flour help create a roux (a paste-like thickening agent), which gives the soup a silky-smooth body and subtle nutty taste.
- Broth: Unsalted chicken or vegetable broth is used as the base for this soup.
- Beer: Your favorite bottle of ale imparts rich flavor.
- Seasonings: Smoked paprika, Worcestershire, dijon mustard, kosher salt and ground black pepper all add robust flavor.
- Cream: Heavy cream ensures the soup has a velvety, decadent mouthfeel.
- Cheese: A combination of sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses add unbeatable flavor.
- Tip: Make sure you freshly shred your cheese at home! The packages of pre-shredded cheese contains preservatives that will prevent the cheese from perfectly melting and fully incorporating into the soup!
- Pimentos: Finely diced pimentos add a pop of sweet, succulent flavor! If you can’t find pimentos, you can substitute roasted red bell peppers instead.
- Bacon: This recipe for beer and cheese soup as written is vegetarian. However, if you have a meat-loving family, try adding bacon to this soup – it is so good! And if you are looking to take things over the top, garnish your beer soup with candy bacon.
- Spicy: If you prefer a lot of fiery heat in your soup with beer, add cayenne pepper to taste.
FAQs: beer soup with cheese
What beer to use in soup?
Beer in an integral part of this soup and will impart a lot of flavor. The type of beer you select is the key to a great tasting soup, so make sure you use a beer you actually like to drink!
This ale soup tastes delicious with a variety of beers; however, I recommend selecting a beer with either a well-balanced tone, or one with an emphasis on malty flavor. Beers with a malty sweetness or bready, almost biscuity flavor will provide the perfect balance to the tang of the cheese and blend harmoniously with the other ingredients in this soup.
The best beers to use for soup
- English Brown Ale or Amber Ale. Malt-driven in flavor, these brews have a small degree of sweetness. Use ales that are lighter copper in color for this beer soup.
- American Amber or Brown Ale. These beers are medium to full-bodied with a toasty malt character. Select a beer that has a low hop bitterness for this soup recipe.
- Full Strength American Lager. Clean and crisp in flavor, these beers have little malt character.
- Helles, Vienna Lager, Oktoberfest. These brews have a bread-y, malt flavor and crisp disposition.
Beers to avoid in soup
- Avoid beers with a high volume of hops. Highly hopped beers, such as APAs (American Pale Ales) and IPAs (Indian Pale Ales) will add an unwanted bitterness to the soup.
- Steer clear floral or citrusy hops. Any style beer that is flavored with hops that are floral, citrusy or fruity will not blend well with the flavor of the soup.
- Stay away from craft stouts. Some craft stouts have coffee or chocolate added to them. While those are delicious to drink, they do not add good flavor to the soup.
- Beware of dark brown beers. Brown beers, such as porters or stouts can turn your soup a darker, unappetizing color.
Pro-tip: If you prefer to make a non-alcoholic version of beer cheddar soup, you can substitute a good quality chicken broth or vegetable stock for the beer.
What cheese to use in soup with beer?
The most common cheese used in beer cheese soup is cheddar cheese. Cheddar provides the perfect pungent, buttery flavor and it melts beautifully! I personally recommend pairing cheddar cheese with another cheese to add even more flavor!
- Cheddar Cheese – mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, smoked cheddar or white cheddar.
- Pepper Jack Cheese – Buttery with a slightly spicy kick, pepper jack provides a nice piquant flavor!
- Cream Cheese – Velvety and smooth, cream cheese will make the soup extra silky and thick.
How many calories in beer and cheese soup recipes?
The exact number of calories and carbohydrates in beer soup will depend upon the precise measurement and brand of ingredients used. This beer cheese soup recipe serves six and has approximately 227 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Is soup with cheese and beer keto-friendly?
To make this soup keto-friendly, select a light, low carb beer.
How to make this recipe for beer cheese soup
This cheese soup is simple to prepare! It only requires one pot and 25 minutes to make!
- Cook vegetables: Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery and jalapeno. Season with smoked paprika, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add flour: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add broth and beer: Slowly add in the broth and beer, whisking. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil, whisking occasionally. Immediately reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Cook until the soup is thickened, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes.
- Add cream: Stir in the cream. Bring to a gentle simmer and immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the soup is creamy, about 5 minutes. OPTIONAL: For a super creamy soup, turn the heat off under the pot and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a stand blender in batches and puree. Return soup to the pot.
- Add cheese then pimentos: Reduce heat to low. Add both cheeses gradually, 1 handful at a time, whisking until smooth between each addition. Stir until smooth. Add in the pimentos and stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve: Ladle soup into serving bowl and top with desired garnishes. Enjoy!
Step-by-step photos: making beer cheese soup recipes
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed measurements in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
Troubleshooting: recipe for beer and cheese soup
Why is my soup with cheese and beer grainy?
Cheese soup should never be grainy. It should be creamy, velvety and very smooth is taste and texture.
Tips and tricks to avoid a grainy, gritty soup:
- Use a good quality cheese and shred it yourself. Do not use pre-shredded cheese or cheese slices as they contain additives that prevent the cheese from melting properly.
Low heat when you add the cheese. Make sure the heat under the soup is on LOW or remove the soup from the heat completely when you add the cheese. Adding cheese to a hot, bubbling mixture will cause the cheese to break down and become gritty.
Add the cheese in batches. Add your cheese in handfuls and whisk well between each addition. Slowly adding the cheese a little bit at a time helps keep the soup silky and smooth.
How to thicken beer cheddar soup?
Cheese soup is traditionally thickened with a roux, which is equal parts fat (butter) and flour. This recipe uses one part butter to two parts flour to create a thick and ultra creamy soup!
How to thicken a roux-based soup:
- Puree the soup. While this step is completely optional, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup before adding the cheese. Or, you can simply transfer the soup to a stand blender and puree. Pro-tip: If using a stand blender, puree the soup in batches. Make sure you fill the blender no more than halfway and hold down the blender lid with a kitchen towel when pureeing. Keep the lid on the blender for a few seconds after the blender is turned off. Then, transfer soup back to the saucepan. These steps will ensure the hot soup doesn’t explode out of the blender.
- Add cream. This easy recipe uses 1 cup of heavy cream which adds richness and body to the soup.
- Use a slurry. If you find your soup is a little too thin, you can mix a small amount of cornstarch with an equal amount of water and stir it into the soup. Pro-tip: For a slurry to activate, you must bring the soup back to a simmer after adding the cornstarch mixture.
Serving beer-cheese soup
This creamy cheddar soup is hearty enough to be served as a main entree, or it can be served as a starter or accompaniment to an entree.
10 serving ideas for this soup recipe
- Pretzels: Hard or soft pretzels and pretzels bites are delicious served with cheese soup for dunking!
- Bread bowl: Serve your soup inside a bread bowl for a heartier main. Use a pretzel bread bowl to keep the recipe traditional.
- Potato Skins: If cheese is your love language, try dipping loaded potato skins into your beer soup.
- Fried Pickles: The combination of cheese soup with crisp fried dill pickles may sound strange, but this duo is delicious!
- Green Salad: The fresh crunch of a salad is a delicious contrast to this creamy soup. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to balance out your meal.
- Panini or Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A crispy sandwich pairs fantastically with this rich cheese based soup!
- Pigs in a Blanket: Dunking flaky pigs in a blanket in cheese soup tastes amazing!
- Raw vegetables: You can treat this soup like a dip and serve it with fresh, raw vegetables, such as celery sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot sticks or mini peppers.
- Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal roasted vegetables can help balance out this heavier soup.
- Grilled Sausages, Chicken or Steak: Serving the soup alongside a grilled protein will create a heartier, more substantial meal.
- Burgers or Sliders: Cheesy soup pairs great with a juicy burger or mini sliders!
More beer recipes!
Keep things simple and serve your beer soup with more hops:
- Perfect Beer Poached Shrimp
- Crockpot Chicken in Beer
- Pull Apart Knots with Beer Cheese
- How To Make A Pumpkin Keg
Storing soup with beer
How long does beer cheddar soup last?
While the soup is best served warm and immediately after cooking, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, leftovers will keep for up to 3 to 4 days.
How to reheat soup with ale?
Cheese soup should be reheated in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until warmed throughout. Make sure you do not boil the soup or reheat it over high heat. Since this soup contains both cheese and milk, boiling it will cause the ingredients to separate.
Can I freeze ale cheese soup?
Yes! Cheese soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, do not add the cream or any toppings (or garnishes) to the soup. Allow it to cool before transferring it to a freezer-safe, airtight container and storing in the freezer.
When ready to use, partially thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the soup a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and stir until warm throughout.
What are you waiting for? Make this recipe, bust out your softest sweater and curl up with a big bowl of this comforting beer cheddar soup!
Until next week friends, cheers – to having your beer and eating it too!
More soups with alcohol!
If you love this beer cheese soup recipe, try this recipes using beer next:
The best recipe for Beer Cheese Soup! Plus, step by step video👇
Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
- 1 Large Saucepan or Dutch Oven (for cooking the soup)
- 1 Wooden Cooking Spoon (for stirring the soup)
- 3 TBS Unsalted Butter
- 2 large Shallots – finely diced (about ¾ cup)
- 1 medium Celery Rib – finely diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 large Jalapeno - seeded and finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
- 6 TBS All-Purpose Flour - spooned & leveled
- 1 (12 ounce) Botle Ale Beer – preferably a mild blond, light wheat, amber or pale ale (SEE NOTES)
- 2 Cups Unsalted Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 1 1/2 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Worcestershire Sauce & Dijon Mustard
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 heaping Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese – (about 7 ounces) (SEE NOTES)
- 1 1/2 heaping Cups Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese – (about 5.25 ounces) (SEE NOTES)
- 1 (7-8 ounce) jar Diced Pimientos – drained
- To Taste Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
- Optional Garnishes: Hot Sauce, Smoked Paprika, Fresh Parsley or Scallions
- Cook Aromatic: Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery and jalapeno. Season with smoked paprika, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add flour: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add beer and broth: Slowly add in the broth and beer, whisking. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil, whisking occasionally. Immediately reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Cook until the soup is thickened, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes.
- Add cream: Whisk in the cream. Bring to a gentle simmer and immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the soup is creamy, about 5 minutes. OPTIONAL - blend soup: For a super creamy soup, turn the heat off under the pot and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a stand blender in batches and puree. Return soup to the pot.
- Add cheese in handfuls, then pimentos: Reduce heat to low. Add both cheeses gradually, 1 handful at a time, whisking until smooth between each addition. Stir the beer cheese soup until it is completely smooth. Then, add the pimentos to the pot and stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Garnish and Serve: Ladle soup into serving bowl and top with desired garnishes. Enjoy while warm!
- Beer: Be very careful with your choice of beer! I recommend using a mild-tasting beer and tasting the beer FIRST. The beer contributes a TON of flavor to this soup. It is imperative you use a beer you like and avoid using a beer that has a bitter, hoppy taste. (I don’t recommend IPAs, APAs or Strong Brown Ale). I tend to use an American Amber.
- Cheese: I recommend you buy blocks of cheese and shred them yourself for this soup recipe (or any recipe, really). While those packages of pre-shredded cheese are convenient, they unfortunately have a white coating made of additives that prevent it from melting smoothly.
- Adding Cheese to the Soup: Make sure your heat is on low and add the cheese in handfuls, stirring in between each addition. Low heat and gradually adding the cheese will prevent the cheese from clumping!
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