Beer cheese with pretzels and beer

Kentucky Recipes

Freight House Beer Cheese

When it comes to unique Kentucky tastes, you don’t get much more Bluegrass than beer cheese, invented in the small town of Winchester inClark County. Is there beer in it? Yep, a little. That, combined with garlic and spices, gives this addictive cheese spread its unique tang. It’s so beloved that there’s a festival in its honor and a Clark County “Beer Cheese Trail” offering samples throughout the area.


  • 32 oz. block sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8-12 oz. lager or pilsner beer (not “light” beer)


  1. Grate cheese on the medium-size side of a box grater. Pulse garlic cloves in a food processor 3-4 times until they’re chopped into small bits, but not quite a paste.
  2. Add the cheese, cayenne, paprika and salt. Pulse 3-4 times or until just combined.
  3. With food processor running, slowly pour the beer through the chute until cheese mixture is smooth and creamy, using more beer for a drier aged cheese, less for one that is more moist. (Be careful not to over-mix or the spread may separate).
  4. Serve cold with raw veggies, crackers or pretzels.

Recipe provided by: Chef Sara Bradley, Freight House (Paducah, KY)

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