The Cozy Cook

Beer Cheese Soup

This simple beer cheese soup recipe can be made with a variety of cheeses and any kind of beer from Guinness to Bud Light! Caramelized onions in the broth add great depth of flavor, along with crispy bacon and green onions to garnish!

Serve this with a side of my Cheesy Garlic Bread!

A white bowl full of beer cheese soup topped with green onions and bacon with a spoon in the background.

Beer Cheese Soup

This soup has all of the flavor you could ever want in a soup. It starts with savory bacon, and then shifts to sweet caramelized onions. From there, you’ll add your bubbly beer of choice. Stick to a beer that you enjoy drinking. (For me, that’s actually bud light. 😂)

Simple seasonings are then added along with creamy half and half (or cream), and savory chicken broth.

And let’s not forget the cheese. You can stick with simple orange and white cheddars, or even work gruyere or gouda into the mix.

The best part about this recipe is that I’ve given you a basic outline, but it’s really fun to experiment and make it your own. Maybe make it “my way” today, and then experiment with your own twists!

I would love to hear what you enjoy modifying about this recipe. Home cooks are geniuses in the kitchen and I love hearing from you!

Let’s do it.

Ingredients

The bottom of this post also contains recipe card with ingredients and full instructions.

  • Bacon
  • Salted Butter
  • Sweet Onion – can sub a yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Flour
  • Beer- any variety that you enjoy drinking
  • Chicken Broth- homemade is always best in soups
  • Half and Half- or heavy cream
  • Mustard Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cheddar Cheese- Gruyere is also a great addition to mix in
  • Green Onions

How to Make It

Cut the bacon into 1-inch squares with kitchen shears. Cook in a large pot over medium-low heat, rotating occasionally. Remove and set aside once crisp. Leave 2 Tablespoons of drippings in the pot and add 2 Tablespoons of butter.

Squared of bacon in a dutch oven before and after being cooked.

Slice the onion into squares about ¾ of an inch thick, thicker than you normally would for soup. We’re going to caramelize them down and they’ll shrink down in size. If they’re diced too small they will burn.

Heat the onions in the pot over medium low heat. Continue cooking the onions for about 25 minutes, allowing them to foam and reach a deep golden-brown color. This adds a ton of flavor to the soup.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Chopped onions before and after being caramelized in a dutch oven to make beer cheese soup.

Add the flour and toss to coat. Cook for 1 full minute, until you can no longer smell flour.

Add the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it bubble gently and reduce for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the chicken broth, half and half, mustard powder, cayenne, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.

Caramelized onions in a dutch oven with beer, chicken broth, and cream being added to make beer cheese soup.

Let the soup simmer until ready to serve, (at least 10-15 minutes). Remove the bay leaf and thyme stem. *I like to use an immersion blender to blend the onions completely into the broth so that it’s extra smooth. (See below for product link.)

Remove from the heat and let it come down in temperature for a minute. Gradually sprinkle in the cheese and stir to combine (if the soup is too hot the dairy will separate and the soup will be grainy).

A dutch oven with beer cheese soup before and after having shredded cheese added and mixed in.

Garnish with bacon and green onions and serve with crusty bread or my cheesy garlic bread.

How Do You Fix Bitter Beer Cheese Soup

If you enjoy beer cheese soup, then it’s unlikely that you’ll have an issue with a bitter taste, especially if you use a beer that you enjoy drinking. But here are some tips to mitigate bitterness:

  • Be cautious when using very hoppy beer, perhaps add 6-8 oz. instead of 12.
  • Mix in more cream or even sour cream. To mix in sour cream, add a few tablespoons of soup to 1/4 cup of sour cream in a separate bowl and stir until combined, then add it to the soup.
  • Add more chicken broth.
  • Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Caramelize more onions on the side and add them to the soup.

Anything that is salty, sweet, or sour will help counteract bitter flavor.

Pro Tips for This Recipe

  • Shred the cheese from a block so that it melts well. Bagged shredded cheese contains cellulose which prevents it from melting well. Heluva Good Orange Sharp Cheddar is my brand of choice as it melts really well and has great flavor.
  • A variety of cheeses can be used: I used a combination of Orange and White Cheddar. Don’t use extra sharp white cheddar as that won’t melt as well. (Sharp is okay though!) Gruyere adds great depth of flavor as well and can be combined with cheddar.
  • Any kind of beer will work: Whatever you prefer to drink for beer will be a good choice in this soup. Beer with more intense flavor will also be more intense in this recipe. I like to use Tuckerman Pale Ale if I have it, but even Bud Light will work. Non Alcoholic beer may also be used.
  • If you prefer not to use beer, high quality chicken broth may be substituted, although that’s more like making a cheese soup.
  • If you want thicker soup: Make a slurry and add it before you add the cheese. Combine 3 TBS cornstarch with 3 TBS cold water. Bring the broth to a boil, stir in the slurry, reduce to a simmer. It will continue to thicken upon standing.

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, although the consistency is slightly altered.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • Kitchen Shears – To cut the bacon
  • Kitchen Tongs – To turn bacon and remove from pot.
  • Dutch Oven– Great for cooking bacon and making soup, conducts heat really well.
  • Silicone Spatula – To ‘clean’ the bottom of the pot during cooking. (Adds flavor to the broth.)
  • Immersion Blender– To work caramelized onions into the broth (extra creamy/smooth consistency.)

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A spoon scooping up beer cheese soup from a white bowl with bacon and green onions.

Tried This Recipe?

Leave a review, I love hearing your feedback! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Beer Cheese Soup topped with bacon and green onions with a spoon scooping it up in the back.

Beer Cheese Soup

5 from 3 votes
This simple beer cheese soup recipe can be made with a variety of cheeses and any kind of beer from Guinness to Bud Light! Caramelized onions in the broth add great depth of flavor, along with crispy bacon and green onions to garnish!

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, can sub yellow
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 12 oz. beer, see notes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half, or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, just a pinch
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, can sub 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, see notes
  • 2 Green onions, diced

Instructions

  • Shred the cheese from a block, measure out the half and half. Let them sit out at room temperature.
  • Cut the bacon into 1-inch squares with kitchen shears. Cook in a large pot over medium-low heat, rotating occasionally. Remove and set aside once crisp. Leave 2 Tablespoons of drippings in the pot and add 2 Tablespoons of butter.
  • Slice the onion into squares about ¾ of an inch thick, thicker than you normally would for soup. We’re going to caramelize them down and they’ll shrink down in size. If they’re diced too small they will burn.
  • Heat the onions in the pot over medium low heat. Use a silicone spatula to stir occasionally and ‘clean’ the bottom of the pot. Add a small splash of olive oil if needed. Continue cooking the onions for about 25 minutes, allowing them to foam and reach a deep golden-brown color. This adds a ton of flavor to the soup.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the flour and toss to coat. Cook for 1 full minute, until you can no longer smell flour.
  • Add the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it bubble gently and reduce for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the chicken broth and use a silicone spatula to clean the bottom of the pot again.
  • Add the half and half, mustard powder, cayenne, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  • Let the soup simmer until ready to serve, (at least 10-15 minutes). Remove the bay leaf and thyme stem. *I like to use an immersion blender to blend the onions completely into the broth so that it’s extra smooth. (See notes for product link.)
  • Remove from the heat and let it come down in temperature for a minute. Gradually sprinkle in the cheese and stir to combine (if the soup is too hot the dairy will separate and the soup will be grainy).
  • Garnish with bacon and green onions and serve with crusty bread or my cheesy garlic bread.

Notes

Beer
Any kind of beer can be used for this recipe, I like using a Pale Ale (such as Tuckerman’s), although I’ve used Bud Light and I like that too. Whichever beer you prefer for drinking will also appeal to you in this soup.

Cheese
I like to use a combination of orange and white cheddar. Don’t use extra sharp cheddar, as that won’t melt as well. Gruyere is a really delicious cheese to add to the mix as well.

Tools For This Recipe (Affiliate)
  • Kitchen Shears - To cut the bacon
  • Kitchen Tongs - To turn bacon and remove from pot.
  • Dutch Oven- Great for cooking bacon and making soup, conducts heat really well.
  • Silicone Spatula - To 'clean' the bottom of the pot during cooking. (Adds flavor to the broth.)
  • Immersion Blender- To work caramelized onions into the broth (extra creamy/smooth consistency.)

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Recipe Rating




7 comments on “Beer Cheese Soup”

  1. This is one of the best soups I’ve ever made. I”m so grateful I ran across your site. I had some beer I didn’t care for and looked for a recipe to get rid of it. Ran across this and I will be making it again soon! Bacon is not on my diet (so sad), but I had some deli thin sliced ham. I diced it and fried it up as I would bacon. It was wonderful. I garnished it also. I don’t feel like I gave up anything. My husband is a tough critic of mine and he gave this an A. Then stopped and said…. maybe an A+. Home Run!!

    • I’m so happy you guys enjoyed this one so much! You’re husband sounds a lot like mine lol🤣! I have to confess… I pretty much did the same thing you did! I had beer in the fridge that no one was drinking and wanted to use it on something so I landed on Beer cheese soup lol! Thanks so much for the review!

  2. Delicious! Made for a potluck & it was a huge hit – was asked if I could make it again for Superbowl Sunday. I used Beck’s.

  3. Made this for my husband and his football buddies and they loved it! Has a lot of flavor and really easy to make! I used Sam Adams Boston Lager for the beer. Delicious!

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