Are you looking for a quick dip that works with vegetables and crackers and pretzels and chips? This is it! Beer Cheese!
Mr. Saucy grew up in Richmond Kentucky. He hunted and fished and hung out with his family and friends on the Kentucky River near Boonesborough, where his family also had a farm. It was there, on the banks of the Kentucky River, that beer cheese is purported to have gotten its start.
Johnny Allman’s brother, Joe, is said to have concocted the recipe, which was served at Johnny’s first restaurant on the river, The Driftwood Inn. It was a huge hit and became an institution of snacking in restaurants and bars in Kentucky. Because it was served with saltine crackers, it caused a mighty thirst in the diners, who would then order more food and drink. *wink* Savvy guy, that Johnny.
Anyway, as the years passed, and Johnny opened and closed many restaurants, his final location was struck by fire in the 1960’s on a Sunday morning. Mr. Saucy and his friend Greg were driving by when the fire broke out in the building; they broke into the restaurant where the fire raged in the kitchen. They got a hose and tried to extinguish it, but the fire had cut off the power to the building and to the water pump which required power to pull the water from the Kentucky River. They escaped the building and called for help, but it was too late to save the restaurant. The Allman family rebuilt and reopened a restaurant in that location, which closed permanently as a result of a second fire 1978.
The recipe then passed, according to legend, through one of Johnny’s cooks to a neighboring restaurant called Hall’s on the River. Hall’s Beer Cheese is now the by-word for excellent and authentic beer cheese.
While in some areas of the country Hall’s Beer Cheese is available commercially packaged, there is nothing that beats the original. Also, while many people claim to have the original recipe, it’s told that the recipe is held close to the family. Then again, others say the recipe was given freely. You see, nobody really knows for sure.
One thing I can tell you is, this is good beer cheese. And it’s super fast to throw together. It’s really better the next day, but make plenty so you have some left for the next day. Mine never quite makes it to the refrigerator to properly “age.”
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces creamed cheese
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- ¼ cup beer (any kind will do)
- Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of your food processor or mixer.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Put in a crockery style bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- Serve with celery and carrot sticks, crackers, pretzels.