German Beer Cheese for Oktoberfest! This German beer cheese recipe uses simple ingredients and easy preparation to make the best German cheese dip ever. Serve with pretzel bread or veggies for dipping and enjoy this luscious German cheese spread with incredible flavors of cheese, beer, German mustard, and a touch of horseradish.
Why German beer cheese is the best
Prost! My last name is Schwarz and we take Oktoberfest seriously, complete with lederhosen. So in that stead, we cook up a very serious, VERY tasty German buffet with all the traditional things and yum yums.
Far and away, one of my greatest loves is always the soft, cushy pretzel bread and beer cheese dip. I loooovvvve that stuff, always and forever. So when I took it upon myself to make my own version, I took the task to heart to make the BEST German beer cheese I had ever had.
This recipe is easy – we don’t have to make a roux with flour and better, and we don’t have to do anything else fancy. We just put the ingredients in a little saucepan and heat it up, then give just a little simmer to thicken. That’s it.
The combination of beer, sharp cheddar, German mustard, and a touch of horseradish in this recipe explodes with a balanced perfect combination of flavors. This dip is THAT good.
About the ingredients
- Cheeses: sharp cheddar cheese and mozzarella. If possible, get blocks of cheese and shred yourself on a cheese grater as opposed to purchasing the cheeses already shredded. Shredded cheeses have anti-caking agents added to keep the shreds separated but these can keep the cheese from melting as smoothly. But, that said, using pre-shredded cheese will give you amazing, delicious German beer cheese as well.
- Beer. Use a nice, full bodied, dark-ish German beer. Doesn’t have to be Guinness dark, but definitely not Bud Light light.
- Heavy cream. Also known as whipping cream.
- German whole grain mustard.
- Prepared horseradish. Find this in the refrigerator aisle at the grocery store in the deli meats section.
- Seasonings: garlic powder and kosher salt.
How to make German cheese dip
This is the really easy part: all we do is put all the ingredients in a saucepan, and heat. The key is to heat over medium-low to medium heat, stirring very often to prevent scorching and to check that the heat is not too high. It doesn’t take long for the beer and cream to heat and the cheese to melt.
Once the mixture is melty smooth, we continue to heat at the same temperature to allow the beer cheese to just start to bubble. After a few minutes, this makes the cream thicken (same as if we are making alfredo sauce). This way, our beer cheese gets nice and gloriously creamy perfect without us having to make a roux with butter and flour.
As with any sauce or recipe with thickened cream, the important thing is to reheat gently to prevent the sauce from separating – meaning, to keep the fat in the sauce and not coming out to make an oily, unappetizing mess.
So, this can be done tow ways: either take leftover beer cheese, spoon a serving into a microwave safe bowl, and give a quick (15-20 second) zap in the microwave – mix and repeat as needed until heated through – OR put the leftover dip in a saucepan and reheat on low, stirring often.
Ehh, you shouldn’t. Leftovers of beer cheese reheat okay, but beer cheese dip is better, creamier, and smoother when it is freshly made.
Alas, no because of the beer.
The classic accompaniment and all-time best dipper for German beer cheese is pretzel bread. You can make you own pretzel bread, and here is a pretzel bread recipe, or you can purchase it. Or you can make pretzel bread bites too, here is a recipe for pretzel bread bites – just omit the cheese. On the occasion that I made this recipe for these photos, I purchased pretzel bread bites – these can be found at Publix or Walmart that I know of.
Other dipper suggestions include pumpernickel bread, brown bread, veggies, or crackers.
OK, so kinda. We need to make the dip first on the stovetop to heat it enough to thicken the cream. Then, we can transfer to a slow cooker on low to keep warm for serving. This is exactly what I do when we host our Oktoberfest. If the beer cheese gets too thick, simply add some milk or beer to thin it back out.
German Beer Cheese
- 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
- ¾ cup full-bodied German beer
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp German whole grain mustard
- ¼ tsp prepared horseradish
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Put the ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat over medium to medium-low heat. Stir often and adjust heat as necessary to prevent scorching.
- Once cheese melts, continue to heat until mixture starts to bubble. Heat to thicken to desired consistency. Remove from heat and serve.
Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.