Favorite Beer Cheese Soup Paired with Oktoberfest Lager

Let's throw all our reservations about health out the window and enjoy this beer cheese soup. Made with 3 types of melted cheese and beer, how could it be anything but amazing? Its the perfect accompaniment to a cold night and a stein of Oktoberfest.

I am quite the sucker for dairy. I would say Andrew and I eat pretty healthy, but there are a few ingredients I must have in my fridge at all times: butter, sour cream, heavy cream, and cheese. It would be a healthier problem if I always needed vegetables in the crisper, but that's not how I roll. Last week I actually had to reach for the larger sour cream size at the grocery store than what I usually buy because...well...we just go through a lot.

This soup is my ultimate comfort food. It is beer and cheese, after all. It's also really bad for my waistline, so I treat myself to it once or twice a year when the air starts getting a little crisper and the temperature drops. Right around this time in October when all I want to do is cuddle up on the couch with a warming bowl of soup (and beer).

I've tried a few different variations of the recipe and the one I'm sharing with you today is hands down my favorite. If you've never tried beer cheese soup before, be prepared for a new level of love for cheese. If you're prone to heartburn, you might want to be prepared for that too. I promise its worth it though.

The Pairing

Do you think this pairing is a little obvious? It's a no-brainer that beer goes with cheese, that's why they are in the soup together. Many beers will go with this soup, but my favorite is Oktoberfest lager. My reasons are purely because I have this soup in the autumn which is when I'm in full Oktoberfest mode. And although this soup isn't technically German, it definitely fits the profile for something you might have with Oktoberfest fare. If you want to make this soup when Oktoberfest is not in season, don't be afraid to try something else. Below are my favorites to pair with this soup next to Oktoberfest lager:

  • German Pilsner, like Weihenstephaner or Spaten
  • Amber Lager
  • Marzen
  • Brown Ale (but nothing too roasty)

Avoid:

  • hoppy ales, like Pale Ale and IPA
  • roasty stouts or imperial anything (too much alcohol and depth)

The Recipe

Go ahead and splurge on high quality cheese for this recipe! It can make the difference from a great soup to a mind-blowing soup. When choosing a beer for it, many options will work. You can use anything from a cheap domestic lager with minimal flavor to a dark, malty doppelbock. Just stay away from adding a beer that is bitter, citrusy, hoppy, or super roasty. (My suggestions above apply to which beer to put in the recipe as well). If you want to serve something alongside the soup, check out these awesome homemade pierogi.

Favorite Beer Cheese Soup

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 35 mins

Serves: 4

Adapted from the Sprecher Brewing Company's recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cup Shredded Pepperjack Cheese
  • 2 1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 4 Cups Milk
  • 9 oz of Beer (see note above)
  • 1/2 Cup Cream
  • 1.5 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Garlic Powder
  • pinch of White Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the flour, whisking to incorporate. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large soup pot, heat the milk to a simmer until steaming but not boiling. Add all remaining ingredients except for the butter and cheese; whisk to combine. Bring the soup to a steaming state again (without boiling), then slowly add the flour and butter roux from the other pan. Stir to thicken the soup up a bit.
  3. Add a little bit of the shredded cheese and stir consistently until it has melted into the soup. Continue adding cheese and stirring. When all the cheese has melted and been incorporated into the soup, reduce the heat to very low and let steam for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Happy Pairing!