This Is The Best Type Of Beer For Beer Cheese

beer cheese with pretzels
beer cheese with pretzels - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Ah, beer cheese. The concept of beer mixed with seasonings and cheese may seem like it must've been a German creation, but the origins of beer cheese are actually Southern, specifically coming from Clark County, Kentucky. And while you can't catch a buzz eating beer cheese, it's a wonderful party snack and a great appetizer, which is why it's so often paired with pretzels or in combos like Wisconsin brat and beer cheese dip.

But should you be selective about which beer you use for beer cheese? The answer it turns out is a pretty big yes: you can't just drop any beer into cheese and get a good result, as certain kinds will work far better than others. In particular, lighter beers tend to be better than darker ones, and you definitely want something without a pronounced hoppy bitterness. This allows the beer to impart a flavor without those hops overpowering everything else the dish is bringing to the table.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

Lighter Beers Speak To The Origins Of Beer Cheese

golden colored glass of beer
golden colored glass of beer - Cavan Images/Getty Images

It's important to note that beer cheese isn't one specific type of cheese; it often utilizes processed cheese like American or Velveeta, but it can also be made from cheese blends, typically those based around cheddar. But no matter which cheese you use to make beer cheese, the advice for which beer to pair it with remains pretty constant.

Beer cheese benefits most from lighter beers like pilsners, blonde ales, Mexican lagers -- anything with a crisp, flavorful taste, but low bitterness. This makes sense, as without bitter flavors, the beer taste won't overpower the cheese, but will instead amplify it. It also tracks with the origin of beer cheese itself: when beer cheese was invented in the late 1930s, America was particularly invested in lighter brews like blonde ales. If the original attempts at beer cheese had been with something considerably darker that leaned more into hops than malt, it may never have become popular in the first place.

Probably the worst possible choice you can make for beer cheese, then, is an IPA -- the nuclear option when it comes to hoppy beers. IPAs can be great as an accompaniment to dinner, but they're also the one type of beer you might want to avoid cooking with in general for their tendency to turn food particularly bitter.

Other Tips For Making Beer Cheese

beer cheese dip with pretzel
beer cheese dip with pretzel - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

There are other things you should bear in mind when making beer cheese, too -- it may be pretty easy to make, but there are still ways to mess it up. Don't skip out on the spices; flavors like garlic powder, smoked paprika, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce are what separate a great beer cheese from a plain, boring one. Maybe counterintuitively, drinking beer alongside beer cheese isn't the best idea as the flavors can get muddy -- wine can be a much better option. And if you really don't want to use alcohol because your guests don't want to consume it or for whatever other reason, non-alcoholic beer can work fine for beer cheese, too.

Follow these simple steps and your beer cheese game will be on point. Just make sure to save your IPA for a situation where it's better suited, like as a beverage to go along with some fried food or an Indian curry.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.