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Beer Cheese Soup

This Beer Cheese Soup recipe is easy to make and is super cozy! Caramelized onions gives the broth depth of flavor with plenty of cheese and beer options. This recipe uses subtle flavor enhancers that round out the flavor profile for a restaurant quality soup.

Beer Cheese Soup in a white bowl with bacon, cheese, and green onions on top.

Beer Cheese Soup

This incredible Beer Cheese Soup is like a bowl of cozy heaven. It starts with savory bacon, which adds a ton of flavor to the soup pot. The drippings are reserved and are used to caramelize the onions, which adds a slightly sweet offset to the beer. It has the best blend of seasonings and subtle flavor enhancers that takes this soup to restaurant status, and the combination of cheese options are endless.

As for the beer, stick to a variety of beer that you enjoy drinking on its own. (For me, that’s actually Bud Light. 😂) Pale Ale is a great choice as well.

More on the cheese and beer in my PRO tips below, don’t miss those!

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Cook bacon and set aside. Chop once cooled and reserve bacon drippings.

Bacon in a skillet and on a plate before and after being cooked.

Add bacon drippings and butter back to the pot along with the diced onions. Cook until browned and caramelized. Add the garlic, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the beer in small splashes, stirring continuously.

Caramelized onions and a roux in a soup pot.

Add the chicken broth and half and half in the same manner. Add the bay leaf. Bring to a gentle bubble and simmer gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Adding chicken broth and half and half to a pot for beer cheese soup.

Remove the bay leaf. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheese. Garnish with bacon and green onions and serve!

Adding cheese, bacon, and green onions to beer cheese soup.

Pro Tips

  • Cheese: I use Cracker Barrel Sharp Yellow Cheese for this recipe. It adds a nice color and tastes great. A combination of cheese adds a nice depth of flavor. A little bit of Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese adds a nice kick. Gouda cheese makes a nice addition as well.
  • Shred the cheese from a block. It will melt and taste much better than pre-shredded.
  • Make sure the base of the soup isn’t too hot when you add the cheese, otherwise the dairy will separate and create a grainy consistency.
  • Beer: Use a beer that you would want to drink, be careful about using very hoppy/bitter beer or something super strong in taste, as it will transfer that flavor in to the soup. (I’ll admit, I like using Bud Light.) Tuckerman Pale Ale is good too, but stronger in flavor.
  • The hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder are flavor enhancers in this soup that can’t be tasted outright. I use Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • Crock Pot: Due to the dairy content in this soup, I don’t recommend cooking this in the crock pot as it can curdle. The stove top method also allows us to simmer and reduce the soup which concentrates the flavor and thickens the broth. It also cooks off the alcohol. (That’s something that can’t be replicated in the crock pot.)

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup does freeze and reheat pretty well even though it’s dairy based. (The flour helps with that.)

A white bowl with Beer Cheese Soup with bacon, cheese, and chives.

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Beer Cheese Soup in a white bowl with a spoon and bacon and green onions on top.

Beer Cheese Soup

5 from 14 ratings
This Beer Cheese Soup recipe is easy to make and is super cozy, with plenty of cheese and beer options for a restaurant quality soup.

Ingredients

Soup

  • 4-6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, I use Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 12 oz. beer, see notes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half, half milk/half cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, see notes
  • 2 Green onions, diced

Seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon each: dried thyme, smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon each: salt, pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne, optional

Instructions

Prep Work

  • Cook the bacon slowly over low heat in a in a 3.5-quart soup pot. (I cut my bacon in half, it’s easier to fit it in the pan and have it cook evenly.) While the bacon cooks, measure out remaining ingredients. Once the bacon is cooked, set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Chop once cooled and reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings.
  • Wipe any dark spots from the pot but leave as much bacon remnants as you can, as that will add flavor to the soup.

Make the Soup

  • Add reserved bacon drippings and butter to the pot over medium heat and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the pot. Add the diced onions and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. They should begin to brown and caramelize, this adds a nice sweet offset to the beer.
  • Add the garlic, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Add the beer in small splashes, stirring continuously. (It will be thick.)
  • Add the chicken broth and half and half in the same manner. (If desired, you may use an immersion blender to blend the onions fully into the broth.)
  • Add the bay leaf. Bring to a gentle bubble. Let it simmer gently, reduce, and thicken for 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to low and let the soup cool for a minute. Remove the bay leaf. Gradually sprinkle in the shredded cheese, stirring continuously. (Doing so over low heat ensures that the dairy doesn’t separate, which maintains a smooth consistency.)
  • Garnish with bacon and green onions and serve!

Notes

Pro Tips
  • Cheese: I use Cracker Barrel Sharp Yellow Cheese for this recipe. It adds a nice color and tastes great. A combination of cheese adds a nice depth of flavor. A little bit of Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese adds a nice kick. Gouda cheese makes a nice addition as well.
  • Shred the cheese from a block. It will melt and taste much better than pre-shredded.
  • Beer: Use a beer that you would want to drink, be careful about using very hoppy beer or something super strong in taste, as it will transfer that flavor in to the soup. (I'll admit, I like using Bud Light.) Tuckerman Pale Ale is good too, but stronger in flavor.
  • The hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder are flavor enhancers in this soup that can't be tasted outright. I use Frank's Hot Sauce
  • Crock Pot: Due to the dairy content in this soup, I don't recommend cooking this in the crock pot as it can curdle. The stove top method also allows us to simmer and reduce the soup which concentrates the flavor and thickens the broth. It also cooks off the alcohol. (That's something that can't be replicated in the crock pot.)

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup does freeze and reheat pretty well even though it's dairy based. (The flour helps with that.)

The Nutritional Information provided is an estimate and is per cup. This recipe makes approximately 6 cups.

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 914mg, Potassium: 264mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1031IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 441mg, Iron: 1mg
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37 comments on “Beer Cheese Soup”

  1. Made this for supper today, and oh my! It was the best beer cheese soup we’ve ever had! 

  2. We love different soups this time of year. Your beer soup was a hit. Delicious not over powerful of beer or cheese.

    • I am soooooo happy to hear that!!! I just reheated some of this for lunch earlier this week! I agree, the flavors aren’t too strong. (I’ve made that mistake before)- Thank you (as always) for leaving this review, you’re the best!! -Stephanie

  3. Holy crap! I decided to try this tonight & as always, it was superb! The flavor is amazing. I always tell my friends that your recipes are the best because you’re not afraid of using seasonings & flavor enhancers. This one will be a regular in my house. Well, now it’s time to make dessert lol. Thank you ☺.

    • Wahooooo! I’m so happy this was such a hit Benji! Thanks so much for your support and for spreading the word to your friends. I love that you appreciate the use of seasonings and flavor enhancers!🙌

  4. OYYY! (That’s Oh Yum YumYum!) When this hit my inbox l was off to the store. It not only sounded good, it sounded like always keeping chili on hand once fall hits. I doubled the recipe thinking I’d be able to freeze some for another cold night. Nope. Barley enough for a little bowl of soup with dinner. Guess I’ll be off to the store again one day. Next time I’l make TWO double pots! I knew it couldn’t just be eaten ‘as is’. It needed something for schlopping. Couldn’t decide so I got both… a loaf of uncut French and Italian so l could make thick slices. My son had a better idea, though. Go to Jimmy John’s, they sell yesterday’s sub bread for 85 cents and l could give everyone their own loaf of bread. Smart kid! LOL Thank you so much for so many great meals.

    • I love this Susan! It’s so funny, I’ve been craving this one for the last couple of weeks and have made several batches! I’m so happy you’re feeling the beer cheese soup vibes too. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and leave a review!😀

  5. I just made this soup and it was absolutely delicious. The whole family loved it and I ate way too much! I followed your recipe exactly and it worked out perfectly. Sometimes it’s difficult to use American recipes here in Australia, not because we have to convert imperial measurements to metric (that’s easy to do) but because a lot of the ingredients you have over there aren’t available here. The only ingredient we don’t have in Australia from this recipe is “half and half” (is that what it’s called?) which I presume from the recipe is just half milk and half cream so that’s easy to substitute. Thankyou for such a tasty, easy to prepare soup. I’ll be making it often 😊

    • Hi Kira! I am so happy that you love the recipe! 🙂 Wahoo!! I also have a “metric” button underneath the “ingredients” header of the recipe card that you can hit and it will convert the measurements for you. Yes- half and half is half light cream, half milk! 🙂

  6. This soup recipe is amazing!  I use either Heineken or this time I used fort George ipa (the ipa is my new favorite)!  I also add sodium citrate instead of salt which helps make the soup reheatable (pretty sure that’s not a word but you get the point).  I use tillamok sharp cheddar and if you let it sit like the recipe says and you use the sodium citrate it will not become grainy.  🙂  delicious!  I also make homemade pretzel dogs to dip!  It’s a big hit!  Thank you!  

    • Wow thanks for leaving such great comments, very good tips Danielle! I’m so happy you’re enjoying this one. Homemade pretzel dips sound amazing!😋

  7. This looks wonderful! I’m looking to add broccoli…do you think that would reduce the flavor? If so, how could I prevent that?

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