Is There A Difference Between Beer Cheese And Pub Cheese?

If you're drinking brews at a bar, you're naturally going to want to snack on something salty. Enter pretzels with beer cheese — or is it pub cheese? Is there any difference between these two tasty dips? Yes, there is, but it's subtle.

Beer cheese is typically made with — you guessed it — some type of beer. In fact, that's sort of a requirement for it to be called beer cheese. The heated version looks similar to nacho cheese sauce, while the cold variety has a thicker consistency, but both are ideal for dipping soft, salty pretzels into. The beer adds smoothness and flavor, whether you're going with a fruitier or nuttier brew. And while some alcohol does burn off during cooking, the dip still retains as much as 85% of it, according to Idaho State University. Beer cheese differs from pub cheese in that the latter doesn't necessarily contain brews, but beer cheese falls under the pub cheese umbrella. If you're alcohol-free or just not a fan of the boozy flavor, a different type of pub cheese may be what you're looking for.

Ingredients in beer cheese and pub cheese

Brews aside, beer and pub cheeses are pretty similar dips. They both involve a combination of cheeses and seasonings, and can be heated up or eaten cold (although the cold version is how the dip was originally made). The cheeses involved can include cheddar, gouda, cream cheese, Gruyére, Monterey jack, or even a processed cheese loaf like the ones made by Land O'Lakes and Velveeta. For seasonings, you can mix and match salt, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, or paprika. Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, diced jalapeños, and horseradish are also common ingredients for extra kick. Some recipes call for milk or butter, while others rely on the cheeses themselves (and beer if applicable) to provide a creamy consistency. You can make both of these recipes on the stove or in the slow cooker for the heated version, or in the blender for the cold variety.

In place of the beer, some recipes for pub cheese use ginger ale, apple cider, apple juice, vegetable broth, or even water. But if you're going for the boozy version of this spread, you'll want to wait until your brew goes flat. Beer cheese was first made with flat beer, so you're recreating the original version of the dip, and less bubbles means less of a mess in the kitchen.