Potato, Pale Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon


I know what you are thinking. It’s about dang time I shared a beer cheese soup recipe. What? Has it been over 2 years that this blog has been live, and I still have yet to post a beer cheese soup recipe? I know, I know. I should be ashamed of myself. I love, love, love beer cheese soup, and I have totally put my own spin on it today. With mashed potatoes, heavy cream and a ton of beer goodness, this soup is oh so heavenly. White cheddar cheese is mixed in at the end. Top it with bacon and settle into a cozy chair by the fire. You will literally be able to feel your little toes warming up from the cold with each and every bite.

IF you happen to have some leftover mashed potatoes laying around from Turkey Day, this soup would be the perfect use for them. The beer cheese soup is primarily made up of mashed potatoes, and what is not to love about mashed potatoes?! It’s such a simple recipe and only gets better as it sits. I like to make a big batch and keep it warm on the stove.

I’ve made this soup a couple of different ways over the years. I have used many different types of beer, and a variety of cheeses. This combination I find to be the most successful.

Beer cheese dip is very hit or miss and is really all based on personal preference. In my dream beer cheese soup, I like it to taste like straight up beer. I want that bitterness. I want that hoppiness. I want each and every bite to include these aromas and flavors. I know. Not everyone’s dream beer cheese soup consists of these elements, but it is beer cheese soup after all. You have to have beer in there somewhere!

This is where you guys really need to use your imagination and intellegence. If you would normally hate drinking hoppy beers, DON’T COOK WITH ONE. This recipe uses pale ale and you will, 100% get a bitter result.

I want this. You may not. Let me reiterate: this soup is BITTER! ;)

Honey works wonders. Feel free to add as much as you like, and swap out the pale ale for a beer a little on the lighter side. A pilsner is the perfect substitute in this situation.

I hope you guys enjoy the recipe as much as I do. It’s perfect for those cool nights! Recipe and beer pairings are below! Have a great night everyone! xo

Beer Love

Beer cheese soups vary in the variety of beer you can throw into them. I think a pilsner is one of the most popular because it is much more subtle than your bolder beers out there. I really wanted to throw a pale ale into this soup, as well as pairing with it. I really wanted that bitter hoppiness to shine through and boy did it. If you aren’t a huge fan of that bitter hoppiness, than I definitely suggest going the traditional pilsner route. Here are some pale ales that I love to cook with. Just like it is with wine, remember to choose a beer that you would otherwise drink! You will most definitely taste the beer in this dish! That’s the whole point!

Maine Beer Company’s Peeper Ale

Wind River Brewing Company’s Fremont Pale Ale

3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust

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Potato, Pale Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon

Yields 10 bowls of soup

10 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

2 hrTotal Time

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  • 6 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or stock
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups pale ale beer (use a pilsner for a less bitter taste)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (plus extra for garnish)
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
  • 1 cup micro greens


  1. Add the quartered potatoes to a large stock pot. Add just enough water so that the potatoes are just submerged. Season generously with salt. Bring the pot to a rolling boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Add the milk and butter to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher, hand-held mixer or stand mixer. You want the potatoes to be completely pulverized. No lumps must remain. If you need to add more milk, feel free. Season with salt and black pepper. Place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  3. To a large dutch oven, add the chilled mashed potatoes and the broth or stock. Stir to completely combine. This may take a couple of minutes. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Heat over medium-high heat and cook for 15 minutes. At this point, add the honey if you have a trouble with the bitterness you tend to get when drinking a beer. This soup is very bitter, add honey to your desired amount.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the beer and cornstarch. Add it to the pot, along with the heavy cream. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the soup has thickened substantially. Reduce the heat to low, and add the cheese, in 1/4 cup increments. Stirring to melt after each addition.
  5. Keep the pot on low heat, covered, until you are ready to serve.
  6. Garnish with bacon, micro greens and additional cheddar cheese. Enjoy warm!


Yes, the mashed potatoes may be made ahead of time, up to a week and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This soup is VERY bitter, a pilsner will tone down the bitterness of the soup, but not completely. If you are looking for some sweetness, add honey or granulated sugar.