Rich and creamy, this Beer Cheese Soup is made easily on the stovetop and is perfect alongside soft pretzels or crusty bread!
This is one of my Soup recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
If you’re into creamy, chowder-like soups, then allow me to introduce you to your new favorite… beer cheese soup. Guys, beer. cheese. soup.
Have you ever had a beer cheese sauce so good that you wished it was drink-able? This is that!
So thick and creamy, and loaded with cheesy flavor, it’s perfect for a comfort food meal. Or you could thicken it more and use it as a large batch of beer cheese dip… you do you!
Obviously it’s fantastic with my baked soft pretzel bites, but some nice crusty bread is another great option.
How to make beer cheese soup?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Cook bacon. You can also cook your bacon in the oven, but then you won’t have all that amazing bacon grease that adds a ton of flavor.
- Cook onions. You want to cook them longer than you would just to soften them.
- Add flour. Adding the flour here creates a roux, which will thicken your soup beautifully.
- Add beer. Whisk as you pour, so the flour gets fully incorporated and thickens.
- Add liquids and seasonings.
- Simmer. Cook until the soup is thick enough to at least coat the back of a spoon.
- Add cheese. When adding the cheeses, add them a handful at a time, stirring well in between each addition.
- Add bacon and serve.
I know it’s a pain, and requires a bit of an arm workout… but for the best results, shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in a substance to prevent it from clumping in the bag, which can make it not melt as smoothly in a sauce, and it can lead to your soup being a bit grainy.
Variations of this recipe
- Potatoes – if you’d like a heartier soup, feel free to add some diced potatoes (Yukon gold’s are our favorite, with russets being a close second). Add them with the chicken broth and half and half, and vigorously simmer until fork tender.
- Protein – if you’d like more protein than the bacon and cheeses, feel free to add some chicken or sausage. Shredded rotisserie chicken is fantastic for this.
- Dairy – because you want a rich mouthfeel, I wouldn’t opt for a super low-fat milk with this recipe. It’s been tested with whole milk and evaporated milk, as well as the half and half and heavy cream, and all were delicious.
- Spicy – to add some heat, try adding some cayenne pepper, or dicing up some jalapeno/poblano/serrano peppers and sautéing them with the onions.
- Cheeses – feel free to use any combination of cheeses you like best, cheddar, monterey jack, colby, colby jack, etc.
I don’t know of the exact amount of alcohol content left in the soup after simmering, but I would suspect most of it has been cooked off. If you’re worried about the alcohol content, feel free to use a non-alcoholic beer or use less of regular beer.
Curdling can happen in recipes where you use a lower-fat dairy and where it’s heated too at too high of a temperature. In this recipe we remedy that by using a higher fat dairy (half and half or heavy cream), and heating the soup over MED heat, and simmering at a lower temperature to make sure curdling doesn’t happen.
My only advice here is to use a beer you like to drink. Hoppy beers, like an IPA will provide a lot of beer flavor, but it can be an acquired taste. We prefer to use a lager (such as Samuel Adams or Yeungling).
Making beer cheese soup ahead of time
Not only can the whole soup be made ahead of time, you can also prep most of the ingredients, which means this meal will come together very quickly.
- Bacon – the bacon slices can be cut ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Onion and garlic – veggies can be diced/minced, then stored in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Flour – the flour can be pre-measured and stored at room temperature until ready to cook.
- Seasoning – all the seasonings can be pre-measured and stored at room temperature until ready to cook.
- Cheese – the cheeses can be shredded and stored in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
Leftover beer cheese soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoyed within 3-4 days.
Reheat gently on the stovetop with a splash of water (or chicken broth) to loosen it up, whisking as the soup reheats.
Soup can also be microwaved, but we prefer to use the stovetop to make sure the soup doesn’t separate during the reheating process.
Due to the dairy in the recipe, I don’t recommend freezing this soup. Dairy can separate during the freezing and thawing process, and the texture isn’t all that pleasant.
However, this recipe is easily halved (just use half of all the ingredients), if you’d like a smaller batch.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 5 slices bacon diced
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion diced or chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 12 oz beer we prefer a lager
- 2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock or chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups half and half or heavy cream
- 1 tsp dried mustard can be substituted with an equal amount of dijon mustard
- 1 – 2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese shredded from an 8 oz block
- 1/2 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese shredded from an 8 oz block, reserving the rest of the block for another time
Toppings (all optional)
- additional shredded cheese
- remaining half of the cooked bacon
- sliced green onions
- additional black pepper
- Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over MED LOW heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Cook onions and garlic
- Reserve a couple Tbsp of the bacon grease in the pot, then add butter.
- Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-15 minutes, until golden and soft. The exact amount of time this will take will depend on your stovetop and your cooking vessel.
- Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add liquids and thicken
- Add flour and stir well to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes, so the raw flour taste will be gone.
- Pour in beer, whisking as you pour, and cook, stirring often, until thickened.
- Add chicken broth and half and half, stirring well to combine. Add dried mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, and pepper.
- Increase heat to MED and bring soup to a vigorous simmer. Then reduce heat to simmer soup and cook, stirring often, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Add cheese and bacon
- Remove from the heat and add cheeses, a handful at at time, stirring in between each addition. Soup should be a creamy chowder consistency.
- Stir in half the cooked bacon.
Garnish and serve
- Serve garnished with a sprinkle of black pepper, additional cheese, and sliced green onions.
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- Recipe makes approximately 6 servings, however these serving sizes aren’t explicitly measured, just an estimate.
- I’ve not tested this recipe in a slow cooker, but it can be kept warm in one after making on the stovetop.
- I’ve not tested this recipe in an Instant Pot, but I believe it can be done with some minor changes. Omit the flour and substitute with cornstarch. Saute bacon, then remove to a paper towel lined plate. Saute onion, then add garlic. Add beer, chicken broth and seasonings, and pressure cook for 5-6 minutes. Perform a quick release and whisk the cornstarch into the half and half (or heavy cream), and add to the pot and cook on saute, stirring often, until thickened. Stir in cheeses, half the bacon, and serve recipe as directed.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.