Beer Cheese Soup — The BEST recipe for decadent beer cheese soup that’s loaded with flavor, including two different types of cheeses! A comfort food family favorite soup that’s perfect for chilly weather. You can even make it on busy weeknights because it’s a one-pot recipe that’s ready in 30 minutes!
The BEST Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
No other beer and cheese soup compares to how cheesy, rich, and scrumptious this one is!
Loaded with two kinds of cheeses, including sharp cheddar cheese and pub cheese, this beer cheese soup is the epitome of creamy and indulgent.
The base is made of heavy cream and chicken broth with underlying flavor notes of paprika, mustard, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
It’s made heartier by the addition of onion, carrots, and celery. And let’s not forget the other star ingredient – the beer!
Delicious wheat beer is used to add an even greater depth of flavor to this incredibly comforting soup that the whole family will love. You’ll want to put this one into your rotation because it’s just that good.
Even better, this comfort food recipe for beer cheese soup is ready in 30 minutes, made in one stockpot, and it’s perfect for chilly weather. It’s even great for busy weeknights because it’s ready so quickly.
Ingredients in Beer Cheese Soup
For this rich and decadent beer cheese soup that is just perfect for the fall and winter months, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Salted butter
- All-purpose flour
- White or wheat beer
- Chicken broth
- Heavy cream
- Cheddar pub cheese
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Worcestershire sauce
- Ground mustard powder
- Garlic powder
- Paprika or smoked paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bread bowls, optional for serving
- Bacon crumbles, optional
- Chives, optional for garnishing
How to Make Beer Cheese Soup
Step 1: Begin by adding the onion, carrots, and celery to the canister of a food processor and pulse to chop everything.
Alternatively, you can do this by hand if you don’t mind the prep taking longer or you want more texture retained in the finished beer cheese soup.
Step 2: Add the butter and chopped vegetables to a large Dutch oven or stockpot and sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
Step 3: Sprinkle in the flour and stir constantly until the vegetables start to bind together and the mixture is thickening up. Don’t rush through this step! See more in the Tips below.
Step 4: Pour in the beer, broth, cream, bring to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Add the two types of cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, salt and pepper, and allow the cheeses to melt, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Step 6: Taste the soup, season with additional salt and pepper if desired, and optionally serve in bread bowls with optional bacon and chives.
What’s the Best Beer for Beer Cheese Soup?
In the spirit of Octoberfest and all things beer and comforting, this beer cheese soup just seems so fitting. For the soup, I used Allagash White Beer, but any white or wheat beer will do.
You could also use a lager.
A stout like Guinness would also work but will have a much deeper flavor and it will change the color of the soup to be more of a beige than yellow colored.
Can I Use a Non-Alcoholic Beer?
I haven’t tried making this with nonalcoholic beer but it will likely be okay, although the flavor will probably change somewhat slightly.
For those concerned about serving this to children, I personally would be fine with it since the alcohol content of the beer will burn off as the soup simmers. However, do as you see fit when it comes to serving this to kids or people who don’t consume alcohol for whatever reason.
What Is Pub Cheese?
Pub cheese is a thick, spreadable type of cheese and tends to have a strong and intense flavor.
I have fond memories of my grandparents spreading Kaukauna pub cheese on crackers and bread while playing cards.
It’s generally found in the specialty cheeses section at the grocery store typically in the deli area and not where they keep the less expensive bags of run-of-the-mill shredded cheese.
Is Pub Cheese Necessary?
Pub cheese really gives the soup a distinct bold flavor and makes it pop!
Additional cheddar cheese could be substituted for pub cheese, about 1 to 1½ cups more, but the flavor will be a bit milder.
As long as you’re going to the work of making homemade beer cheese soup, I strongly recommend using pub cheese rather than just using extra cheddar.
Adjusting the Consistency and Thickness of Beer Cheese Soup
Depending on how thick you want the soup, you can adjust the amount of flour.
The photos show the soup thickened with ½ cup of flour, which gives it a thicker, almost chowder-like consistency.
Use just ¼ cup flour if you want a slightly thinner soup, similar to what my extremely popular, The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup (Better-Than-Panera Copycat).
It’ll still be creamy, but thinner in consistency.
How to Change the Texture of Beer Cheese Soup
Apart from consistency, we need to consider texture. Can you tell I really like to analyze food!?
Many similar recipes for beer cheese soup instruct you to transfer the soup to a blender after cooking to make it really smooth.
It’s an option here with my beer cheese soup recipe, but in my opinion, transferring hot liquids into a blender is a hassle.
Instead, this is why I like using the food processor beforehand. It minces the veggies so they are in really small pieces so the soup isn’t too hearty and chunky, but does have some slight texture.
If you prefer a more textured soup, you can simply chop the vegetables rather than food processing them.
You do not need to peel the carrots. Just clean them really well before use and make sure to trim the ends as well as trim off the ends of the celery.
Can This Recipe Be Made in a Slow Cooker?
Readers always ask me with soups if they can make them in their slow cooker or keep them warm in the slow cooker.
With this beer and cheese soup, I haven’t written the recipe to be made in a slow cooker and so you will need to make it on the stove.
However, feel free to transfer it into your slow cooker and set it to low to keep warm, noting that it will still possibly continue to cook, and therefore will get thicker and thicker as time passes.
How to Store and Reheat Beer Cheese Soup
The soup should be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will thicken slightly.
I recommend reheating in a saucepan on the stove and adding a little chicken broth to loosen it back up, if needed.
If you do microwave it, take care not to overheat it so you don’t “break” the soup which can happen if you heat things with milk or dairy in them at too high a temperature or too rapidly, and they will have a very separated and unsightly appearance to them.
Recipe Substitutions to Try
Other popular questions I get on recipes like these are as follows, “Do I need to use the paprika/mustard powder/heavy cream…and can I substitute it with something else?”
Every single ingredient is there for a reason, but if you absolutely don’t want to buy something here are my substitute suggestions.
Mustard powder: You can use it in The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup too, but if you don’t have any, just see how your soup turns out without it.
Chicken broth: If you’re vegetarian and want to keep the soup this way, feel free to use vegetable rather than chicken broth.
Heavy cream: If you have half-and-half on hand rather than heavy cream, it will probably be fine, but your soup won’t be as thick. I would use 1/2 cup rather than 1/4 flour if you’re going that route.
Salted butter: Same goes for unsalted butter rather than salted if that’s what you have in your fridge. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but you’ll need to adjust for the missing salt and add additional salt.
Bread bowl: I like to serve the soup in bread bowls because it’s just extra carby and extra fabulous dipping chunks of the bread bowl into the soup but regular bowls are obviously fine.
Tips for the Best Beer Cheese Soup
It’s EXTREMELY important that the flour has a chance to cook and create a roux of sorts before adding the liquid. This will help the soup thicken the soup later and ensure that there isn’t any raw flour taste in the soup.
If you don’t make a proper roux, your soup will never thicken properly later and apart from that, the flavor will be off.
Don’t rush through when you sprinkle in the flour and then stir until the vegetables start to bind together.
For the bacon lovers, eight slices of crumbled bacon could be added to the soup as a garnish or stirred in.
Serving beer cheese soup in a bread bowl is a wonderful touch, but not necessary.
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Beer Cheese Soup
- 1 medium onion., white, yellow, or sweet Vidalia
- 3 large carrots, ends trimmed
- 2 celery stalks, ends trimmed
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ - ½ cup all-purpose flour*, See Notes
- 16 ounces wheat or white beer**, See Notes
- 2 cups chicken broth, I use reduced or lower sodium; vegetable broth can be substituted
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cheddar pub cheese
- 2½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Bread bowls, optional for serving
- Bacon crumbles, optional for garnishing or stir them in
- Chives, optional for topping
- To the canister of a food processor, add the onion, carrots (not necessary to peel them as long as they're well washed), celery, and pulse until finely chopped. Alternatively you can do this by hand if you want more texture in your soup or you don't mind the prep work to finely chop them taking longer.
- To a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add the butter*** (See Notes), chopped vegetables, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
- Reduced the heat to medium, evenly sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir constantly until the vegetables start to bind together and thicken up.**** (See Notes)
- Pour in the beer, broth, heavy cream, and bring to a low simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. You want the mixture to be simmering gently, not a roaring boil; it can cause the cream to break.
- Stir in the pub cheese, shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce, ground mustard, salt, garlic powder, peppers, and stir occasionally until the cheese has fully melted, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper, if desired to taste. Tip - For those wanting a touch of spiciness to the soup, a shake of cayenne pepper will do the trick.
- Optionally serve soup in bread bowls, or regular bowls, optionally top with bacon and/or chives, and serve immediately.
- The soup should be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will thicken slightly. I recommend reheating in a saucepan on the stove and adding a little chicken broth to loosen it back up, if needed. If you do microwave it, take care not to overheat it so you don't "break" the soup which can happen if you heat things with milk or dairy in them at too high a temperature or too rapidly, and they will have a very separated and unsightly appearance to them.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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