Cheddar-Beer Spread

January 6, 2014

Cheese has always featured prominently at our Christmas open house; it’s a perfect opportunity to sample three or four kinds from the shop that I would never just buy a hunk of on my own to eat. In addition to serving blocks of various cheeses, I’ve always made a baked brie wrapped in puff pastry. But this year we skipped the baked cheese and I brought back this zesty cheese spread, which I’d forgone the past few years in favor of trying new spreads and dips. Although I never personally developed a taste for drinking beer, I love how it works in recipes. And the flavors of sharp cheddar and beer pair perfectly – picture soft Bavarian pretzels with zingy cheddar dip from your favorite brew house, yum!

This spread from the ATK Family Cookbook is super easy to throw together, as long as you have a food processor. Even if you only have a mini processor, the recipe can easily be cut in half. The Worcestershire, dijon, and Tabasco give this spread a definite kick, so it’s best paired  with a hearty whole wheat or multigrain cracker. Rye crackers would also make an excellent flavor combination. Enjoy!

Cheddar-beer spread

The spread can be made up to 7 days ahead, kept refrigerated and tightly covered.

Serves 8 to 10


  • 1/2  cup lager-style beer
  • 1  pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4  cup minced onion, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2  tablespoons ketchup
  • 1  tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1  tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1½  teaspoons Tabasco
  • 1  garlic clove, minced


  1. Bring the beer to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Process the cheddar, onion, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and garlic in a food processor until very smooth, about 1½ minutes. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the beer and process until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

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