Can You Catch A Buzz Eating Beer Cheese?

Beer cheese with pretzels and beer
Beer cheese with pretzels and beer - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Many parties and get-togethers often include a variety of favorite hors d'oeuvres and snack-friendly appetizers for guests to enjoy. Next to pigs in a blanket and pesto brie bites, who can resist homemade pretzels dipped in luscious and creamy beer cheese? Primarily crafted from milk, butter, and melted cheddar, plus a bit of beer, the dip might lead some to wonder if it includes enough alcohol to feel a booze-induced impact. Rest assured, while beer cheese does contain alcohol, it's typically not enough to give anyone a buzz.

For starters, the ratio of the beer itself depends on the recipe you're following — and you can choose one that has less alcohol if you are concerned. While some recipes only call for ¼ cup of beer, others include ⅔ cup. Temperature and timing also impact how much alcohol remains in your finished dip. Beer cheese and other sauces that have been cooked over a stove and brought to a boil for a brief period retain approximately 85% alcohol from added spirits. Yet cooking liquids at 173 F promotes evaporation. While boiling may not be able to remove all the alcohol from your beer, using beer with a low alcohol content may further reduce the trace amounts you inevitably consume. Regardless, you are highly unlikely to feel any alcohol-related effects.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

The Preparation Can Minimize The Presence Of Alcohol

Roux in skillet with wooden spoon
Roux in skillet with wooden spoon - kariphoto/Shutterstock

Beer cheese dip is made in a variety of ways. No matter the recipe, beer is usually added toward the end of preparation for that quintessential flavor burst. Even if you bring your dip to boiling before serving, you can't remove every last bit of alcohol. However, the simple act of exposing beer to the outside air boosts evaporation.

To help ensure your beer cheese has a low presence of alcohol, you can also choose a variety with a low alcohol by volume or ABV. Beers generally range from 4-7% ABV, while wine has an average ABV of 10%, and hard liquor sits at 40%. Lighter beers have a lower ABV, but if your cheese dip is made with an IPA, stout, or lager, you're most likely using a variety of beer with an ABV of 9-10%. Regardless, a full beer cheese recipe includes less than a full cup of beer and is mixed with heavier foods like butter and cheese, which may indirectly decrease the impact of residual alcohol.

Beyond choosing a lighter beer, if you wish to further reduce the alcohol content of your beer cheese, using a larger pan may also help. A bigger surface area helps alcohol evaporate at a quicker pace. You can also accomplish this with sufficient stirring, which also promotes evaporation, but if you want a surefire way to reduce the alcohol in your next batch of beer cheese dip, remove the beer altogether.

How To Make Alcohol-Free Beer Cheese

Beer cheese with soft pretzels
Beer cheese with soft pretzels - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Using a light beer and a large pot may help reduce the alcohol content in your next beer cheese recipe, but even following this protocol can't fully guarantee an alcohol-free dip. If you want to remove the alcohol altogether, you can use one of many non-alcoholic beer brands to achieve that same unique acidic flavor. Just keep in mind that many still contain trace amounts of alcohol. To ensure you're choosing an alcohol-free variety, read labels thoroughly. Interestingly, you can also make beer cheese with a few other convenient liquids and skip beer altogether.

For example, use extra milk or water to thin out your cheese sauce until the hot mixture reaches your desired consistency. If you want to add more flavor, you can also use vegetable stock. Add a dash of apple juice to give your beer cheese a more developed flavor and an extra tangy bite. Ginger ale has the added appeal of carbonation, which may also work as a sufficient swap. Whichever liquid you decide to use, check your seasonings before serving and adjust to taste.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.