Cheddar Ale Spread

I had the opportunity to entertain my grandparents this afternoon for the first time. I was excited to plan some great things to eat and everything turned out just wonderful. As a result, my next few posts will be pieces of that meal, and I figured what better place to start than with an appetizer! This cheese spread has a fabulous tangy flavor, thanks to a small amount of dijon mustard and beer. The recipe calls for an ale, and I think you could really use just about anything so long as it’s not a light beer; I used one of my new favorites – Blue Moon. I processed this pretty well in the food processor, but you could easily choose to pulse it for a chunkier consistency if you would prefer.

Cheddar Ale Spread

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


8 oz. cream cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2½ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup beer (pretty much anything but a light beer)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I substituted 2 teaspoons dried)


1. Combine the cream cheese, mustard, cheddar cheese, cream, and salt in a food processor. Process for 30 seconds, add the beer, and continue processing until very smooth. Pulse in the parsley until just dispersed.

Note: This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You will want to take it out an hour before serving if you do refrigerate.

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40 Responses to “Cheddar Ale Spread”

  1. Bridget on August 23, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Hmm, interesting. I like beer in food, and I want to start making more appetizer-type food (especially now that football season is starting!), so I’m going to have to try this.


  2. Sherri on August 23, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    This sounds soooo good!


  3. Annie on August 23, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Mmmm, looks great! I’m definitely trying this one. My dad would love it.


  4. Jenn on August 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    That looks so good. I can practically taste it.


  5. peabody on August 23, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Glad to see it worked out fine without the nuts.


  6. Kate on August 23, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Dijon? I am so in!


  7. Lindsey on August 24, 2008 at 6:31 am

    This looks fantastic….cheddar/ale spread is one of my husband’s favorites. I’ll have to give this recipe a try!


  8. Sarah on August 24, 2008 at 10:13 am

    This looks so great – now I just need to check and see if I have all of the ingredients. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!


  9. Kelly on August 24, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Ohhhhhh yum!

    I love Guinness cheddar so I bet this is great! Maybe I will even have to try making it WITH Guinness cheddar!

    Now I really need a food processor.


  10. kmays on August 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I love beer in food! This looks like a great party dip.


  11. Katie on August 25, 2008 at 6:58 am

    What a good idea! My husband loves cheese and ales. Sounds like I know what I’m making next time his friends come over! :)


  12. thom on August 25, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I have made something very similar around the holidays for years. 50/50 cheddar and swiss, a dash of “watsdishere” sauce, a shovel of garlic and beer…start processing in and gradually add the suds until perfect (your definition of perfect)


  13. Ashley on August 25, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Oh yum yum yum!! And I love how you put out a combination of pretzels and veggies to dip in it. I am totally dying to make this dip now. I think I’d prefer to omit the hazelnuts from the recipe as you did.


  14. Amber on August 26, 2008 at 8:54 am

    This looks delicious, I bet the pretzels were great with it. I wonder if I would like it if I don’t like beer.


  15. Jaime on August 26, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    i’ve never had a dip like this before – looks delicious!


  16. Melissa on August 27, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Looks delicious! I am not a big ale drinker, but I bet this is good. I think I will make it for a get-together we are having soon.


  17. colleen on November 8, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Hi chelle! I just blogged this – it’s delicious!


  18. Cordia on October 4, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I wish more people who have made any of the recipes would comment how they turned out. I made this last night and it was a hit! Very easy to make and very delicious! I didnt have heavy cream, so I used 1% milk instead and it turned out fine. I also used reduced fat cream cheese. This was so yummy!!


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  21. Deborah Dowd on February 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    This seems like a natural to represent cheese country on Sunday, but I suspect Steeler fans will love it as well!


  22. Jesusita Maile on May 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!


  23. Anna on June 10, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Yum! I’m always looking for good party dips, now I’m going to have to host a party so I can try this, it looks great!


  24. Patty on November 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    The men are eating it as we speak watching the Bears game. The flavors are great. I just wish I would have taken it out a few hours before everyone came over. It’s been 2 hours and it’s still a bit hard to dip a pretzel into. :(


  25. Shelly on January 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Just curious, why not light beer?


    • Michelle on January 9th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Hi Shelly, It just waters down the flavor. An ale or pilsner will impart much more depth of flavor.


  26. liz on February 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I just made this and used dried CHIVES instead of parsley, and it came out AMAZING! Also didn’t have cream, so just made it with the 1% milk I had.


  27. Coby on May 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I just made this and tweaked some ingredients (out of necessity) and it came out with a slight Mexican flair. I used a Negro Modelo beer, since it was what we had (and my husband walked by and added about an additional 1/4 cup!), and spicy coarse ground mustard instead of Dijon. I thought to use chopped green onions, but apparently I forgot those when I went grocery shopping, so parsley it was! Very good!


  28. Nina on June 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I made your Jalapeno Popper Dip and the Hot Reuben Dip for a party not too long ago and everybody loved them. This one, not so much. It was good but nothing spectacular. I felt that it was missing something.


  29. Mary Ann Reese on January 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I made this today for a party tonight. I used a mix of yellow and white cheddar and even some horseradish cheddar I had. I added some real bacon bits and a little additional horseradish. YUMMO!! It was hard to not eat it all right out of the mixing bowl! Great recipe as written and also with favorite add-ins!! THANK YOU for sharing!!


  30. Lauren on January 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    This is my go-to dip for any party and I just made it again now to bring to a Pittsburgh Penguins party!! :) I doubled the beer and it makes it a little creamier with more of the ale flavor and it’s still really good!


  31. Renee on January 28, 2013 at 11:31 am

    See you do have beer cheese….


  32. Laura M on February 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    i was completely disappointed with this recipe. made it last night and it was flavor-less. added some green onions today and it just isn’t working for us.


  33. Jay on February 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I made this last weekend, it was delicious! I even brought some to work multiple days for a snack. There is a HUGE flavor difference right out of the fridge or when it has been sitting. I would suggest following the entire “let sit for one hour before serving”, it is well worth it!


  34. Ayme on May 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    3/5 stars. We thought this was pretty bland.


  35. Bri on September 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    When you say no light beer, are you talking about a beer that has light in the name, such as Bud Light, or light clolored beer, like a blonde? I have homemade blondes my dad made for me and I”m having a hard time sitting down and finishing them (he gave me so many!)..


    • Michelle on September 12th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Bri, Just light tasting beer, yes like Bud Light. They are typically a bit more watered down than regular beer. I think the beer your dad made should be fine.


  36. nadra on October 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Very good, but agreed it was a little bland for me. Made it for the second time this eve with a lil more “kick”. I added a lil more dijon, doubled the beer, added a hhint of garlic paste n onion powder. Much more of the tang I was looking for 😉


  37. Laura on November 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Hi Michelle,
    This recipe looks fantastic! Quick question–is a food processor absolutely necessary? I don’t have one, and I was hoping to use a mixer.
    Thanks for all of your ingenious recipes!


    • Michelle on November 26th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Laura, Yes, you could use a mixture, the cheese just won’t be as broken down as it would be with a food processor.


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