Easy Cheesy Beer Sauce Perfect for the Fourth of July Holiday!
The Fourth of July is coming up this weekend, which had given me a thought as I was walking through my local market. ‘What is a great group dish that I can make, now that people will be coming over to enjoy the warmer days?’ That is when I saw these delicious looking pretzel bites. I bought a small bag to ensure they tasted good, and boy did they! They came with a salt packet, were soft and tasted fresh. All I had to do when I got home was put them in the toaster oven on warm to heat them through for a few minutes and add salt. Since I was still at the market, I just ate them as is with some mustard and they were still devourable.
As I continued my walk through the market, I realized that these pretzels would make a great hit if I paired it with cheese sauce. Thus, I put my thinking cap on, channeled Miss Sandra Lee, if any of you know who I am talking about I am very proud of you and began to think about what I needed for my sauce. I knew I wanted a kick in my sauce, and I love this Habanero Jack cheese that I found at Ralph’s, so on the list it went. Then I thought back to the basic cheese sauce that I make from my Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, which takes flour, butter, milk, and sharp cheddar.
As I continued to add the basics on to my list of things that were needed to make a cheese sauce, I realized that I work at a brewery and that a beer cheese sauce would be even better with these pretzels. Not only could I have a simple starter, but I could make a nice charcuterie board with the beer cheese sauce as the point of focus. Therefor I decided to choose a beer, which took some time since I had already chosen the cheeses that I wanted (sharp cheddar, gruyere, habanero jack), that would pair well with the flavors.
With my cheeses chosen, I needed a beer that would not overpower the flavors but instead enhance the dish, but I also wanted a beer that was easily accessible to everyone. Thus, I went with our Garage Brewing Co® Belgian Style Tripel (aka Tow Truck). When I think of an everyday beer that anybody and everybody can drink, this would be it. It does not have the bitter flavor that you find at the end of IPA, there isn’t a strong flavor pallet that you would find from our fruit forward beers either. Instead, the Tripel is very clean, light bodied, easy to drink, and most importantly easy to pair with beer.
After picking up my ingredients, it was time to head home and start the trial-and-error process of making a new recipe. I looked online to get a grasp on what other people did for their milk to beer ratio and discovered that everyone roughly did the same ratio 1 cup to 2/3 cup. After two attempts, since I made a mistake in reference to when to add the spices, as well as discovering that my sauce needed a little something to give it that pizzaz. I created a delicious beer cheese sauce. You can find the recipe below and I hope you have a delicious hit at your next party.
Garage Brewing Co® Tow Truck Cheese Sauce
¼ cup flour
¼ cup butter
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup of milk
2/3 cup of Garage Brewing Co® Belgian Style Tripel aka Tow Truck
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Gruyére cheese
½ cup habanero jack cheese
In a medium saucepan, place the butter on medium to low heat. As that begins to melt, pour in the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to start making the roux. Once your roux is ready stir in the milk and beer a little bit at a time making sure to whisk until smooth. Let this simmer until thick and bubbles begin to form and pop.
Once thick and bubbly, add in the dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat down to low and begin to place the cheeses in a handful at a time ensuring that when you mix them in, they are fully melted into the mixture. Continue with this step until all cheese is incorporated.
Lastly, taste to ensure that it is seasoned to your liking.