Experimenting with Beer Sauce

Beer and cheese is a natural pairing. That’s why the new brisket sandwich at pFriem is covered in creamy beer-cheese sauce. The best thing about this sauce is that you can use it for fondue, as a base for cheese soup, for topping vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, or like we do by topping your favorite hot sandwich.

We aren’t specifying a specific pFriem beer to use, because it is fun to experiment with different styles. Our Rauchbeer, Pilsner, Vienna Lager, and Belgian Strong Dark are all great suggestions. Get creative!

Half the fun is choosing a fresh, seasonal pFriem beer you think would taste great with cheddar, and giving it a spin.

A quick note about cheese sauce: Store-bought, pre-grated cheeses often have a dusting of cornstarch or other additives to keep the cheese from clumping. These can cause your sauce to be grainy, so it is best to grate your own block cheddar. You could also substitute smoked gouda, swiss, or another good melting cheese for part of the cheddar.)

  • 3oz butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk, whole
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-quart yellow cheddar, freshly grated

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

Once entirely melted, stir in the flour to form a paste called a roux. Let this cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Add the milk to the roux, still over the heat. Whisk very thoroughly until completely smooth: it should become very thick as it reaches a simmer.

Add the beer, mustard, lemon juice, and spices; whisk to combine, and just bring back to a simmer.

Turn the heat down as low as possible.

Add the cheese by adding one handful and whisking until the cheese is entirely melted and incorporated before adding another handful. Continue this until all the cheese is added. Be careful not to let the sauce come to a simmer again, as the cheese could become grainy.

Add salt to your preference.

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