Beer cheese (spread)

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Beer cheese
Beer cheese dip.jpg
A container of Kentucky Beer Cheese brand spread
Type Spread
Place of origin United States
Region or state Kentucky
Main ingredients Processed cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, beer, garlic, spices (dry mustard, horseradish and cayenne pepper)
Cookbook: Beer cheese  Media: Beer cheese

Beer cheese is a cheese spread most commonly found in Kentucky or Wisconsin. Similar spreads can be found in other regions of the United States, but beer cheese itself is not widely distributed. Despite this fact, the spread is nearly ubiquitous in the aforementioned states. There are a number of different brands that are popular- most are similar in taste and texture. Fans of the snack usually have their "favorite" brand, and there are many homemade versions which use a wide variety of ingredients to add personalization.[1]

Commercially produced beer cheese usually consists of a processed cheese base with a sharp cheddar flavor, while homemade varieties almost always start with sharp cheddar cheese. To this, enough beer is added to provide flavor and texture, as well as garlic, and a variety of spices including dry mustard, horseradish and cayenne pepper. Most varieties come in "mild" and "hot" versions, but all tend to have a strong garlic flavor. Beer cheese is traditionally served with saltine crackers, though it can be found served with various other crackers and crudités, most often as an appetizer.


While there are conflicting stories about beer cheese's origins, it appears to have first been served in the 1940s at a restaurant in Clark County, Kentucky known as Johnny Allman's.[2] The owner of the restaurant, John Allman, credited the invention of the cheese spread to his cousin, Joe Allman, a chef in Phoenix, Arizona. Joe's Southwestern influence is said by some to explain the spread's spicy nature.


An annual Beer Cheese Festival is held in downtown Winchester (the county seat of Clark County) featuring local arts & crafts vendors as well as both commercial and amateur recipe contests.[3]


  1. ^ Goode, Kristin Ingwell (2008-02-15). "Beer Cheese Blended in the Bluegrass". Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  2. ^ JSH (2008-06-27). "Johnny Allman's Restaurant". Unusual Kentucky. Blogger. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Annual Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester, KY". Retrieved 13 June 2014.