This Beer Cheese Soup is insanely creamy, cheesy and accentuated with rich beer flavor! It’s easy to prepare, made in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less! This velvety smooth soup is perfect for cozy weeknight dinners or it’s a delicious addition to any game day spread!
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 tweaked the recipe to perfection and added step by step photos to show you how quick and easy this beer cheddar soup is to make!
Hi guys! 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 beer as well as drink it too. Because, life is entirely too short not to! Am I right, or am I right?
Easy Beer Cheese Soup
Fair warning, friends – this soup is highly addictive! Seriously, this soup tastes like a big, warm hug on a cold, lonely day. Essentially, this soup is the definition of cozy, comfort food!
Impossibly creamy, perfectly cheesy, studded with sweet pimentos and accentuated with rich beer flavor, this soup is jam packed with harmonious, subtle flavors. 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 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!
This soup is 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! 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.
While creamy beer cheese soup is now commonly served as a side or entree at lunch or dinner, in Medieval times it was served for breakfast.
Where did beer cheese 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 it taste like?
Beer soup is creamy in texture with a rich, cheesy taste and plenty of nutty ale and umami flavors.
What beer to use in cheese beer 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!
You should use 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:
- English Brown Ale or Amber Ale. Malt-driven in flavor, these brews have a small degree of sweetness. Use beers that are lighter copper in color.
- 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.
- Full Strength American Lager. Clean and crisp in flavor, these beers have little malt character.
- Helles, Vienna Lager, Oktoberfest. These brews have a bready, malt flavor and crisp disposition.
Beers to avoid:
- 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 beer soup?
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 to make 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!
How to make beer soup step by step photos:
Why is my cheese soup 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.
- 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 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 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.
How to serve 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.
What to serve with beer soup?
- Pretzels – Hard or soft pretzels and pretzels bites are delicious served with cheese soup!
- Bread bowl – Serve your soup inside a bread bowl for a heartier main. Use a pretzel bread bowl to keep the recipe traditional!
- Fried Pickles – The combination of cheese soup with crisp fried pickles may sound strange, but this duo is addictive!
- Green Salad – The fresh crunch of a salad is a delicious contrast to this creamy soup!
- 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!
- Roasted Vegetables – Fresh, seasonal 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!
How long does cheddar beer 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?
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 seperate.
Can beer cheese soup be frozen?
Yes! The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, do not add any topping or garnish to the soup. Allow it to cool before transferring it to a freezer-safe, air-tight container and storing in the freezer.
When ready to use, partially thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soup is heated throughout.
How many calories in cheddar beer soup?
The exact number of calories and carbohydrates in 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 low carb and keto-friendly?
To make this soup keto-friendly, select a light, low carb beer.
What are you waiting for? Make this recipe, bust out your softest sweater and curl up with a big bowl of this comforting cheese soup!
Until next week friends, cheers – to having your beer and eating it too!
The best Beer Cheese Soup recipe👇
This Beer Cheese Soup is insanely creamy, cheese, studded with sweet pimentos and accentuated with rich beer flavor! It's easy to make and perfect for easy comforting weeknight dinners! Or, it's a delicious addition to any game day spread!
Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
- 3 TBS Unsalted Butter
- 2 large Shallots – finely diced (about ¾ cup)
- 1 medium Celery Rib – finely diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 Jalapeno - seeded and finely diced
- 6 TBS All-Purpose Flour - spooned & leveled
- 2 Cups Unsalted Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 1 (12 ounce) Botle Ale – preferably a mild blond, light wheat, amber or pale ale (SEE NOTES)
- 1 1/2 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Worcestershire Sauce & Dijon Mustard
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 heaping Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese – (SEE NOTES)
- 1 1/2 heaping Cups Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese – (SEE NOTES)
- 1 (7 ounce) jar Pimientos – drained and finely chopped
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper , to taste
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!
- 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.
- Use freshly shredded cheddar for this soup. Pre-shredded cheese has a white coating and additives that prevent it from melting smoothly.
- 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!
Yield: Approximately 5 cups
Serves: 4-6 people
Nutritional information is an approximation and based upon 6 servings.
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