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Best Beer and Cheese Soup {with Sharp Cheddar Cheese}

Have you ever made (or eaten) Beer and Cheese Soup, NOW is the time to make this amazing soup! Filled with veggies, clean all-natural ingredients, like sharp white cheddar and Colby cheese, this soup will become a fall favorite. Simple step-by-step instructions for the best, comfort food ever!

Maybe you’ve tried beer soup before; during an Oktoberfest celebration, maybe in Germany, or perhaps have tried Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup! You lucky dog you! Now you can make it your own home, with ingredients you can pronounce and trust!

If you enjoy warm, comforting hearty soups, you might like these family favorites of ours; Bacon Beef Minestrone, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Roasted Cauliflower Soup (don’t knock until you’ve tried it!) and our family favorite Italian Wedding Soup!

Close up shot of a turquoise bowl of beer cheese soup with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon on top.

Personally, we think the BEST way to eat this soup is with homemade soft pretzels; oh so dreamy!

Best Beer for Beer Cheese Soup

First things first! When I cook with beer, I tend to use the same line of thinking as when I cook with wine, use a good beer that you would enjoy drinking.

  • I would caution against IPA’s or Pale Ale’s as the hops tends to make the soup bitter.
  • A basic wheat beer or lager would be great to use, light beers would also be just fine, think Blue Moon, maybe Stella, don’t be afraid to try it.
  • I used a dark porter, because those are our favorites beers. They are rich, smoky, have incredible depth to them, but hey, I get it, not everyone likes a dark beer.
Large turquoise soup bowl filled with Beer Cheese Soup with soft pretzels on wooden charger surrounding the soup.

Can I use non-alcoholic beer or no beer at all?

YES! Absolutely, use non-alcoholic beer and if you choose to not use any beer at all, then simply replace the liquid from the beer with either more chicken, veggie, or beef broth. But then it will be Cheese Soup, nothing wrong with that I say! Make it our way!

Ingredients

Reminiscent of a beer cheese soup I slurped up on numerous occasions while in Munich, this soup starts with delicious, rich ingredients and real sharp cheddar cheese.

Beer Cheese Soup Ingredients, labeled. Left to right, chicken stock, cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese white, colby jack cheese, worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, minced garlic, celery, carrots, onions, flour, butter, half and half, beer and bacon.
  • Butter | or you may replace with olive oil or a vegetable oil
  • Onion | I used a sweet onion, but any yellow or white onion would work
  • Mirepoix | Or also called the holy trinity in cooking, this mirepoix will add healthy depth and flavor to this delicious soup.
  • Garlic | because kind of like butter, everything is better with garlic
  • Flour | you may omit if you want a thinner soup or substitute a good GF 1-1 Flour if making Gluten Free.
  • Chicken or Veggie Stock or Broth | Careful that your stock or broth is not too salty here, this is the one time I suggest you purchase a low sodium stock
  • Beer | Use your favorite; see above for types, non-alcoholic beer may also be used, or substitute with same amount of stock.
  • CHEESE | I wouldn’t be beer CHEESE soup without cheese, we’ll use cream cheese, sharp cheddar and Colby Jack here. I like white sharp cheddar, but you can use orange
  • Half-and-Half | may substitute with milk or even water
  • Dijon Mustard | the prepared kind
  • Worcestershire Sauce | helps combat any bitterness in the soup, plus it’s the greatest condiment!
  • Bacon | ah, just like butter, everything is better with bacon!

Can I make Beer and Cheese Soup Vegetarian

You can easily make this soup vegetarian. Substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock and if you are strict, then omit the bacon as well!

Gluten-Free Beer Cheese Soup

Use a Gluten-Free Beer or swap with chicken or veggie broth. Substitute the all-purpose flour for a good 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour.

How to Make Cheesy Beer Soup

This recipe does take a little time, as you develop the flavors by reducing your stock, beer and mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot mixture), but it’s not hard.

  • In a 4 qt (or larger, so you don’t make a mess), over medium heat, melt butter (or heat oil), adding chopped onion, celery, and carrots; cooking until soft and slightly browned, it’ll take 7-8 minutes, during the last minute add the garlic.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and “cook” stirring constantly about 2 minutes, mixture should be smooth and browned slightly.
Process shots 1-4, left to right. Adding onions, carrots and celery to pot with melted butter. 2. Adding minced garlic. 3. Adding flour. 4. Adding chicken stock.
  • Pour in chicken stock, whisking constantly, then pour in beer, whisking to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 40-45 minutes until thick, and dark brown and reduced. Stir occasionally.
Process shots, left to right, 5-8. 5. Pouring in beer. 6. pouring through fine mesh sieve. 7. Adding cream cheese. 8. Adding shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Strain through a fine mesh sieve, reserving cooked veggies. Pour beer mixture into the same pot and bring to simmer over low heat. Plop in cream cheese and whisk until smooth and combined.
  • Next toss in the shredded cheddar and Colby cheese, about ⅓ cup at a time, a small handful is a good guide. Whisking until melted after each addition. Stir in half-and-half, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, heat until just starting to simmer.
Process shots 9-12. Left to right. Pouring in half and half. 10. Adding dijon mustard, 11. Adding Worcestershire sauce. 12. Returning veggies to soup.
  • To finish, stir in reserved cooked vegetables, check seasonings; add salt (careful) and pepper to taste. Garnish with a little more shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there alcohol in Beer Cheese Soup?

Beer Cheese Soup that contains six servings and only one bottle of beer has only 3 1/2 grams of alcohol u002du002d or about 25 percent u002du002d remaining in the soup. This results in about 0.6 gram of alcohol in each serving. This sum is based on simmering the soup for one hour. The amount of cooking time and the larger the pot plays a critical role in how much alcohol content remains. (Source)

And since this recipe has 8 servings it’s even less, so if you are asking because you are concerned about feeding this soup to your kids, have no fear! I have been feeding my boys recipes with alcohol in them since they were little, I have never worried about it affecting them since so much of it cooks away.

How Do you Fix Bitter Beer Cheese Soup?

The simplest way is to add something a little vinegar-y, which is why this has Worcestershire sauce in it, in fact I increased the amount from the original recipe. You could also try a little soy sauce or even a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

The best way to avoid bitter soup is avoid using a hoppy, IPA, Pale Ale style beer. Stick with a clean Belgian ale, wheat beer or if you are worried about bitterness, or a simple Oktoberfest style ale or lager.

How to fix salty soup?

The easiest solution is dilute it! Add more water or stock, just make sure the stock is not super salty! I’ve also heard adding a half a potato works to soak up some of the salt, but I’ve never tried that personally.

Can you Freeze Cheese Soup?

You sure can! Cool completely before freezing, you may want to freeze in individual sized microwavable containers. Lasts up to 3 months in the freezer.

Horizontal image for beer cheese soup with bowl of soup in wooden bowl with spoon on a black plate with soft pretzel beside sitting on a rustic wood surface.

Best Way to Reheat Cream Soups

Cheese or cream soups can be a bit finicky when it comes to reheating as they often get overheated. which may cause the cheese mixture to separate or curdle giving the soup an unpleasant look, but it’s still safe to eat!

  • I easily reheated this soup by adding a little water and then heating on low heat (50% power, 1 minute at a time) in the microwave; stirring in between. It did not separate at all.
  • Additionally, reheat your desired portion on the stovetop over very low heat, stirring and whisking in a little water or stock.
  • If you do get separation, try adding a bit of starch or even cream to the mixture and whisk well to combine. Or add a touch more of an acid, such as apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce or a little bit of lemon. start with a teaspoon at a time, you don’t want to alter the taste.
  • Separated or curdled cheese soup, may not look pretty, but it’s fine to eat!

Light Beer and Cheese Soup

  • use olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter
  • omit the flour, though you could get separation in the cheese mixture.
  • you could omit the beer, try a lite beer
  • omit the cream cheese
  • replace the half-and-half with milk of choice, water or a lite chicken or vegetable broth
Image of a stone bowl filled with creamy, beer cheese soup, topped with shredded white cheddar and crumbled bacon, spoon in bowl with soft pretzel in background.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

This recipe is from my friend, Eliza’s cookbook; Bacon, Beans and Beer, I have modified it some, but honestly these are the best recipes and I highly recommend this cookbook. It’s small, full of great pictures and easy to follow, delicious recipes.

Don’t forget to PIN to your favorite SOUP board!

Pinterest Image with type saying Hearty Beer Cheese Soup vegetarian and gluten free options with image of beer cheese soup in bowl with spoonful of soup and a blue napkin in the background.

I hope you enjoyed my recipe for a version of Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup! If so, please take a moment to pop below and leave a comment.

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!

Beer and Cheese soup in turquoise bowl with bacon and cheese, square image.
Yield: 8 Servings

Best Beer Cheese Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Beer Cheese Soup is the best comforting, fall soup to make. This recipe does take a little time, as you develop the flavors by reducing your stock, beer and mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot mixture), but it's not hard and the end results are spectacular!

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons Butter (replace with olive oil or a vegetable oil)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (sweet onion, yellow or white onion or ½ large onion)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour (substitute GF all purpose flour)
  • 3-4 cups Chicken or Veggie Stock or Broth (watch sodium content on the broths)
  • 1 12 ounce can or bottle of beer* (replace with non-alcoholic beer, GF beer or replace with additional water or broth)
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used white cheddar)
  • 8 oz Colby Jack Cheese, grated (try other cheeses too, smoked gouda, smoked cheddar)
  • 1 cup Half-and-Half (may substitute with milk or even water)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2-2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce (I used 1 ½ tsp, helps if soup gets bitter)
  • Pepper (Salt) to taste, I did not use any salt as the cheese and broths were salty enough.
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (omit if vegetarian)

Instructions

In a 4 qt (or larger, so you don't make a mess), over medium heat, melt butter (or heat oil), adding chopped onion, celery, and carrots; cooking until soft and slightly browned, it'll take 7-8 minutes, during the last minute add the garlic.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and "cook" stirring constantly about 2 minutes, mixture should be smooth and browned slightly.

Pour in chicken stock, whisking constantly, then pour in beer, whisking to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 40-45 minutes until thick, dark brown and reduced. Stir occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, reserving cooked veggies.

Pour beer mixture into the same pot and bring to simmer over low heat. Plop in cream cheese and whisk until smooth and combined. Next toss in shredded cheddar and Colby cheese, about ⅓ cup at a time, a small handful is a good guide. Whisking until melted after each addition. Stir in half-and-half, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, heat until just starting to simmer.

To finish, stir in reserved cooked vegetables, check seasonings; add salt (careful, taste first) and pepper to taste. Garnish with a little more shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, if desired.

Notes

Best Beers | A basic Wheat beer, lager or even a porter, use your favorite beer, my only caution in using IPA's as they can be too hoppy, causing bitterness in the soup.

Vegetarian? Omit the bacon, substitute veggie broth for chicken broth.

Gluten Free? Substitute beer for a gluten free beer or substitute with chicken or even beef broth. Swap the flour out for a good 1-to-1 GF All Purpose Flour.

How to Fix Bitter Soup | The simplest way is to add something a little vinegar-y, which is why this has Worcestershire sauce in it, in fact I increased the amount from the original recipe. You could also try a little soy sauce or even a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. The best way to avoid bitter soup is avoid using a hoppy, Pale Ale style beer. Stick with a clean Belgian ale if you are worried about bitterness, or a simple Oktoberfest style ale or lager.

How to Fix Salty Soup | The easiest solution is dilute it! Add more water or stock, just make sure the stock is not super salty! I've also heard adding a half a potato works to soak up some of the salt, but I've never tried that personally.

Freeze Cheese Soup | Cool completely before freezing, you may want to freeze in individual sized microwavable containers. Lasts up to 3 months in the freezer.

Best Way to Reheat Cheese Soups

  • Add a little water and then heating on low heat (50% for 1 minute at a time) in the microwave; stirring in between. It did not separate at all.
    • Additionally, reheat your desired portion on the stovetop over very low heat, stirring and whisking in a little water or stock.
    • If you do get separation, try adding a bit of starch or even cream to the mixture and whisk well to combine. Or add a touch more of an acid, such as apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce or a little bit of lemon. start with a teaspoon at a time, you don't want to alter the taste.
    • Separated or curdled cheese soup, may not look pretty, but safe to eat!

    A LIGHTER BEER CHEESE SOUP

    • use olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter
    • omit the flour, though you could get separation in the cheese mixture
    • you could omit the beer, try a lite beer
    • omit the cream cheese
    • replace the half-and-half with milk of choice, water or a lite chicken or vegetable broth

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8 bowls

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 2171mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 22g

    The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc. Nutritional information will change based on used ingredients, quantities used, etc.

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    kathleen

    ABOUT KATHLEEN

    I enjoy sharing easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious. I am fed by my faith, family, friends & food! Welcome to my kitchen! Read more...

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