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Beer Cheese Fondue – Fun + Delicious Party Recipe

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Beer Cheese Fondue is a fun appetizer to serve on game days, for occasions like Oktoberfest or anytime you want a cheesy party dip!

Dipping a soft pretzel bite into beer cheese fondue.

Dunk Into Beer Cheese Fondue!

A traditional white wine cheese fondue is a favorite for date nights and New Year’s Eve. Using beer as the base, makes it a casual, fun melty cheese dip to enjoy during football games, an Oktoberfest celebration or any themed holiday party. You can match pretty much any occasion by incorporating complementary ingredients.

When the weather cools down and you want a hot, hearty appetizer. There’s nothing like a beer-infused, garlicky cheese fondue surrounded by perfectly dunkable accompaniments to warm up the party. So, invite your family and friends to gather around a communal pot of tasty beer cheese fondue and enjoy some good laughs!

A red dish filled with beer cheese fondue surrounded by pretzels, sausage and brussels sprouts.

Gather Your Ingredients for Cheesy Beer Fondue

  • Cheese – using two kinds of cheese provides some flavor complexity. Emmentaler is an Alpine-style cheese with a nutty, buttery flavor and is a great melter. This is a staple in a classic Swiss fondue. Sharp cheddar cheese brings some…well, sharpness to the party (more or less depending on the variety you choose). You aren’t limited to these varieties; use any good melting cheeses, like gruyere, comté, raclette, fontina, and even monterey jack.
  • Cornstarch – tossing and coating shredded cheese with cornstarch does a couple of things. It helps prevent the cheese from clumping and the fats from separating, and thickens and improves the viscosity of your fondue. You can use flour instead.
  • Beer – a light or medium-bodied, low IBU lager beer or kolsch works well for most palates.
  • Fresh garlic clove – it’s typical to halve a clove of garlic then rub it all over the inside of the fondue pot. For this recipe, I grate the garlic then add it the beer as it’s heating for some punchy garlic flavor. (BTW, this combo smells amazing simmering on the stove!)
  • Worcestershire sauce – adds a hit of umami.
  • Stoneground mustard – some fondue recipes call for a bit of dry mustard, but I think the coarse texture of stoneground mustard gives it a rustic quality.
  • Black pepper + kosher salt – to taste.
Ingredients for beer cheese fondue on a white counter.

An Easy Cheese Fondue to Make!

Pump the brakes a second. This is an easy recipe to make, but it does require patience and low heat. Don’t rush it and you’ll have better results.

  1. Toss together grated cheese and cornstarch in a large bowl.
  2. Pour beer into a cold, small saucepan then set it over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer and stir in the grated garlic and Worcestershire. Cook these together for a couple of minutes.
  3. Adjust the burner to medium-low heat. Add a small handful of cheese to the beer mixture, and stir until it’s completely melted. Continue stirring in small amounts of cheese, waiting for it to melt before adding more. Stir continuously so the cheese doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. (This is the patience part…the whole process may take 15 minutes.)
  4. Finally, stir the mustard into the cheese mixture and season with black pepper and salt, to taste.

You can serve beer cheese fondue right from the pot, or transfer it to an electric fondue pot, a fondue set that uses a candle or sterno, or to a mini crockpot.

Choose Your Favorite Dippers

The array of dipping foods you can enjoy with cheese fondue makes it even more fun! Here are just some suggestions…

  • Bready things – soft pretzels, bread cubes (from french bread to pumpernickel to sourdough bread!).
  • Snacky things – potato chips, hard pretzels, tortilla chips, crackers.
  • Healthy things – baby or fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, apple slices, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrot slices.
  • Meaty things – sliced sausages, meatballs, chunks of grilled chicken or steak, mini pretzel dogs.
A red dish filled with beer cheese fondue surrounded by pretzels, sausage and brussels sprouts.

Your Beer Cheese Questions Answered

What kind of beer is best for beer cheese fondue?

Use any beer you enjoy drinking, but keep in mind that the flavor and qualities of the beer will come through. If you choose a bitter beer, those bitter notes may end up in your finished fondue, and that’s a lot of cheese to waste if the results aren’t favorable. While I recommend a light to medium-bodied, low IBU beer, the choice is ultimately yours. Light beer? Dark Beer? Have fun with it, but you’ve been warned.

How is beer cheese fondue different from beer cheese dip?

TBH, I think it’s all in the preparation. Fondue begins with a liquid base (wine…or beer, in this case) and to that you add cheese and other flavorings. If I’m making a cheese dip, I start with a roux (butter + flour and other seasonings), then add liquid (milk or cream), then melt in cheese.

Can I make this in a fondue pot?

I don’t actually have a fondue set per se. I have a tiny little set up that sits over a tea light. I would never attempt to make fondue in it. However, if your fondue pot comes with a set of instructions for making fondue directly in that pot, follow those instructions. You can still make it on the stovetop and transfer it to your fondue pot for serving.

What equipment do you need for beer cheese fondue?

A fondue set will come with a base to hold some form of flame, a pot to hold the fondue, and fondue forks. If you don’t have one and don’t want to invest in one, that’s ok! You can serve your fondue straight from the saucepan or transfer it to bowl or mini crockpot for serving. You can get an inexpensive set of fondue forks (their length and shape are really helpful), or use skewers.

What if I have leftovers?

Fondue can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.

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What to Sip?

You know what I’m going to say, right? Beer! The beer you use to make your fondue is the perfect pairing, but you can enjoy a variety of beers with this fun appetizer. The pairings don’t end there! Wine lovers can enjoy white or red wine…sparkling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Gamay.

Do You Love to Dip? Check Out These Recipes!

Dipping a soft pretzel bite into beer cheese fondue.

Beer Cheese Fondue

Linda Feller
Beer Cheese Fondue is a fun appetizer to serve on game days, for occasions like Oktoberfest or anytime you want a cheesy party dip!
Prep time.3 minutes
Cook time.22 minutes
Custom time.12 minutes
Total time.37 minutes
Course.Appetizer
Cuisine.French
Number of servings.8
Calories per serving.245 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce emmentaler cheese, shredded (or other good melting cheese note1)
  • 8 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded (any variety; aged or sharp for bolder flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 8 ounce beer, light to medium-bodied with low IBU (like a kolsch or lager note 2)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • black pepper + kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Toss cheese and cornstarch together in a bowl.
  • Add beer to a cold, heavy bottom saucepan, then set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir in the garlic and Worcestershire; cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low. Begin stirring in cheese, a small handful at a time. Work slowly to allow the cheese to melt between each addition. Stir continuously to prevent the bottom from sticking and to incorporate the cheese. (This will take about 15 minutes.)
  • Once all the cheese has been added, stir in the mustard and season with black pepper.
  • Transfer to a fondue pot or serve it right from cooking pot with your desired dippers.

Notes

  1. Other good melting cheeses include but aren’t limited to gruyere, comté, raclette, fontina, and monterey jack.
  2. Use any beer you enjoy drinking, but keep in mind that the flavor and qualities of the beer will come through. If you choose a bitter beer, those bitter notes may end up in your finished fondue, and that’s a lot of cheese to waste if the results aren’t favorable.
  3. Fondue can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.
  4. The timing listed for Mise en Place includes the time it takes to grate the cheeses and garlic, and measure out the remaining ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 456mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Keywords.cheese, game day, stove top
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2 Comments

  1. There are red specs in your fondue but the recipe doesn’t have anything red in it? Did you add crushed red pepper?

    1. It’s a little sprinkle of sweet paprika…just for looks. But, you could certainly add a dash of any spice you’d like, whether for garnish or to add another flavor. I’ve seen some beer cheese dips and fondues that also add a dash or two of hot sauce.