Beer Cheese Mac and Cheese

the casserole dish with the silver serving spoon on a wood surface. Pretzels, forks, and a beer bottle cap on the wood surface.

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Beer Cheese Mac and Cheese combines the classic comfort food of macaroni and cheese with the adult twist of beer flavor in a beer cheese. Topped with crunchy pretzels, this makes a great game-day dish!


2 tablespoons butter
2 cups uncooked elbow noodle macaroni pasta
1 and 1/2 cups mini pretzels
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 and 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese (I buy two 8oz blocks and shred it myself. You won’t use all of the second block)
3/4 cup beer (see note below)
1 cup half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic power
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A few dashes of paprika to add color to top layer
Cornstarch if needed to thicken sauce


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then cook the macaroni pasta. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups of mini pretzels into a resealable bag. Use a meat tenderizer (or a hammer like I did) and pound to crush the mini pretzels. You don’t want to make a powder out of all the pretzels, you still want some chunky pieces in there. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Next, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to combine. Cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour in the 3/4 cup of beer, cook for 30 seconds then add the 1 cup of half and half. Cook over medium heat for 5 -7  minutes to slightly thicken the sauce. Next add the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and stir so all of the seasonings have blended into the sauce.
  5. Next, pour in the 4 cups of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 cup at a time) and whisk until the cheese has melted into the sauce.  Simmer an additional 2 minutes. If the sauce is too watery, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and bring the sauce to a simmer to thicken.
  6. Pour in the cooked macaroni and stir to coat all of the noodles, then pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Top with the crushed pretzels, then sprinkle with paprika (for color). Bake for 20 minutes.


When it comes to the beer, you can choose your favorite beer. I haven’t tested this recipes using dark beers and usually use Blue Moon.

Don’t bake longer than the 20 minutes. Baking too long can reduce the amount of sauce and make it less “cheesy”.

Keywords: beer cheese mac and cheese