Wine isn’t the only thing that pairs well with cheese. It’s much faster to brew beer than to create an aged Merlot, and it opens up a world of pairing possibilities.
This recipe for Kentucky beer cheese is a cousin of pub cheese, pimento cheese and fromage fort. The difference here is it’s packed with a splash of soy sauce for umami, while additional flavor is provided by a dash of mellow ancho chili pepper. It’s part dip, part spread and all deliciousness. Stock up on buttery crackers, saltines, crudités or pretzel sticks to serve at your next barbecue, picnic or party.
You can mix the types of Cheddar in this recipe to suit your own personal tastes—sharp, mild, farmhouse, etc. However, high-moisture or semi-soft varieties will create a smoother beer cheese. Avoid using too much aged artisanal cheese, as it can make the dip too dry. Any light beer will work, but avoid darker varieties like stouts or porters, as they’ll clash with the punchy garlic and spices. Serve cold or slightly warmed in a bowl.
- 10 ounces Cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1 large clove garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon ancho powder
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- ¾ cup stale beer, opened and left refrigerated overnight
Add all ingredients except beer to food processor. Pulse until cheese forms small pellets. Add splash of beer and turn on food processor at low speed. Continue to add beer slowly until all ingredients are incorporated. Stop processor and scrape down sides. Set processor on high for 2 minutes, or until cheese blends and no liquid remains. Makes 1 pint.