Sunday, February 02, 2020

Beer-Cheese Dip

Beer-Cheese Dip

There's something to celebrate — beer isn't just "beer' anymore; it; a delightful beverage to share with family and friends who appreciate quality ingredients in cooking and a new experience in American cuisine. There is nothing "common" about beer anymore.

Written in 1989 by Jack Erickson, Great Cooking! With Beer is a snapshot of American beer 'culture' in the 1980s, when 'craft' beers were called "microbrews" and beer 'culture' was a nascent thing to be coddled. 1 Of course, it was also a cookbook: a useful beginning point for learning about beer IN food. And it remains so today (though sadly out-of-print).2

Mr. Erickson lived in the northern Virginia area through the early 1990s, where he evangelized on the goodness of the new-fangled microbrews. I met him there on a few occasions. I never gathered up the nerve to make his recipe for "Beer Syrup" for pancakes (for which he admonished me), but I have prepared (and enjoyed) other of his recipes, including Beer-Cheese Dip.

Today, the Sunday of Super Bowl LIV, it might be a good day to post about that. So, here's the recipe, but with some personal adaptions. 3



  • 2 cups (6-8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed...or 1/4 tsp garlic powder (see note below)
  • 1 tsp (vegan) Worcestershire sauce 4
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) light lager (e.g., PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon)
  • 1 dash smoked Spanish paprika
  • scant handful spring onions, chopped
  1. Combine cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, pepper, turmeric, onion powder, cumin, garlic, vinegar, cayenne, and Worcestershire in a food processor or blender. (No salt needed; the cheese will be salty enough!) 
  2. Process/blend 30 seconds to blend. 
  3. NOTE:
    When recently re-making the dip, the taste of the single fresh garlic clove overpowered the dish. So, I would recommend first blending all else and only then adding a little at a time of the smashed garlic to the blender/processor and checking for flavor before (or not) blending more.
  4. With processor/blender running, add the beer gradually, blending until the mixture is 'peanut-butter' smooth, not runny. Add more, only if necessary. 
  5. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors blend. 
  6. Before serving, bring to room temperature. Garnish with chopped spring onions and a dash of paprika. Serve with raw vegetables. 

Great Cooking! With Beer

Great Cooking! With Beer
  • Author: Jack Erickson
  • Paperback, hardcover: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Redbrick Press (February 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941397017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941397018
  • 1 American beer writer Vince Cottone is credited with first using the term "craft brewery" in print in 1986, although it didn't enter the common usage until more than a decade later.
  • 2 Erickson also wrote several beer travelogues, themselves snapshots of 'microbreweries' of the 1980s and early 1990s. These are also out-of-print, but you cna find them if you search for second-hand sources.
  • 3 See Erickson's original recipe: here.
  • 4 Worcestershire sauce, although fermented from barley malt, also contains anchovies. There are non-fish, vegan/vegetarian alternatives.
  • Vegan? Try this 21st-century recipe for a Beer-Cheese Dip, with no actual cheese, from blogger Rabbit and Wolves. Almond milk and nutritional yeast supply the 'cheesiness.' It's tasty.

  • For more from YFGF:

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