This super creamy beer cheese soup brings together beer with cheddar cheese and bacon for the most flavorful beer cheese soup you’ve ever tasted.
The Ultimate Beer Cheese Soup
‘Tis the season for beer cheese soup, cheeseheads! And, yes, that IS bacon you see garnished on top 😀 Our beer cheese soup recipe brings together sharp cheddar cheese (freshly shredded!), a super creamy roux, and the perfect seasonings sautéed in bacon grease.
We’ll walk you through how to make this oh so creamy soup as well as offer some easy ingredient substitutions if you’re looking to keep this soup vegetarian or don’t have a lager on hand.
Ingredients You Need for Beer Cheese Soup
- Thick-cut bacon: seriously, don’t skip this!
- Diced onion: we used a white onion, but yellow will also work.
- Minced garlic gloves and minced fresh rosemary: we recommend mincing your own for both of these for optimal flavor!
- Butter and all-purpose flour: this creates your roux!
- Chicken broth: we love the flavor of chicken broth, but any broth will do!
- Beer: we used a lager, but feel free to use an amber or pale ale instead.
- Heavy cream: for optimal creaminess, don’t substitute this! Milk will work, but you will miss out on the creaminess that heavy cream provides.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: we recommend shredding your own cheddar cheese! Why? Store-bought shredded cheese is tossed in additives to prevent clumping, and this makes melting a bit more difficult.
How to Make Beer Cheese Soup
Start with the Bacon
Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned and crisp (every stovetop is different, but this took us about 7 minutes!). Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain.
Pro tip: Keep about a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan — this is the perfect amount of fat to sauté the onion, garlic and rosemary in.
Add Onion, Garlic & Rosemary
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it is soft and translucent (about 3 minutes!). Then, stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook for an additional minute.
Make a Roux
Add the butter and allow it to melt — then sprinkle over the flour and stir until it begins to form a thick paste. Slowly add the chicken broth making sure to stir constantly.
What if there are clumps? Whisk the soup vigorously until they have dissolved.
Time for Beer & Cream
Next, add the beer and heavy cream, and then allow the soup to simmer for 5 minutes so it can thicken slightly.
Add in the Cheese
Slowly add the shredded cheese, stirring as you add. Keep stirring until all of the cheese has melted.
Serve & Enjoy!
Serve this beer cheese soup topped with the crispy bacon bites and any of the following pairings below!
Toppings for Beer Cheese Soup
If you’re from Wisconsin, you know the go-to topping for beer cheese soup is POPCORN. Other great toppings include:
- Bacon bits (what this recipe calls for!)
- Chopped chives or green onion
- Shredded cheese (can’t go wrong with more cheese!)
- Go ahead and dip a soft pretzel in this delicious soup!
Beer Cheese Soup Tips & Tricks
Best beer for beer cheese soup
We love using a lager for beer cheese soup, but really any wheat beer will work such as a pale ale, pilsner or an amber.
DON’T MELT CHEESE OVER HIGH HEAT
While it’s definitely okay to sauté the onions and bacon over higher heat, DO NOT add in the cheese over high heat. Cheese is finicky and drastic temperature changes can cause it to become clumpy and grainy.
Using a different cheese
You sure can! We love the flavor and color that sharp yellow cheddar gives this beer cheese soup, but feel free to sub any semi-hard cheese 1:1. We recommend the following:
- White cheddar
- Medium cheddar
Make this Recipe vegetarian
If you’re looking to avoid the bacon in this recipe, simply replace with shiitake or baby bella mushrooms and sauté in olive oil until crispy. Top the soup with the mushrooms as directed to if you were using bacon.
How to Store Beer Cheese Soup
Store this beer cheese soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When Reheating Beer Cheese Soup: we recommend reheating just like it’s cooked — LOW AND SLOW! Reheat on the stovetop on low, stirring frequently. This will help prevent any separating or uneven reheating. You may need to add broth when reheating if your soup is too thick. Start with a tablespoon and increase from there.
Freezing Beer Cheese Soup: because cheese has a difficult time with drastic temperature changes, we do NOT recommend freezing this soup!
- 6-oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 12-oz. beer (we used a lager)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 16-oz. sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned and crisp– about 7 minutes.
- Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain. Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it is soft and translucent– about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the butter and allow it to melt– then sprinkle over the flour and stir until it begins to form a thick paste.
- Slowly add the chicken broth, stirring constantly. If there are any large lumps of flour, whisk the soup vigorously until they have dissolved.
- Next, add the beer and heavy cream. Stir to combine. Allow the soup to simmer for 5 minutes so it can thicken slightly.
- Slowly add the cheese, stirring as you add. Keep stirring until all of the cheese has melted.
- Serve the soup topped with the crispy bacon bites and sliced green onions with pretzels or sourdough on the side.
- Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Nutrition FactsServing Size: 1/4 Calories: 769 Sugar: 1 Sodium: 1141 Fat: 63 Carbohydrates: 8 Fiber: 1 Protein: 37 Cholesterol: 203
Keywords: beer cheese soup