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Beer Soft Pretzels with Guinness Cheese Sauce

Beer Soft Pretzels with Guinness Cheese Sauce

I miss pubs. I miss dive bars in strange cities, strangers in crowded bars, crowds at beer festivals. But until the world is back to normal, and until my pint doesn’t come with a side of deadly virus threats, I’ll begrudgingly stay home. And do my best to pub-food from home. 

Guinness was one of the first beers I ever had at a bar, in an Irish pub in Los Angeles. I’ve been to Ireland, back when air travel felt safe, and Guinness will always have a place in the most nostalgic part of my beer heart. Soft pretzels and beer cheese sauce are right there with it, it’s always a good day when I have Guinness, soft pretzels, and cheese sauce. Until I can bump up against strangers in a bar, making friends and asking them if they want to try my beer, I’ll be doing this from home. It’s a great way to pass the time until the day we are out of the woods. 

Beer Soft Pretzels with Guinness Cheese Sauce

5 from 3 votes


For the Pretzels:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) rapid rise yeast
  • 1 cup Guinness beer
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
  • 10 cups water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 ½ cups (300g) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup (4oz) Guinness beer


Make the pretzels:

  • Add the flour, sugar and yeast to a stand mixer. Mix until just combined. Heat the beer to 120°F (always defer to the liquid temperature listed on the package of yeast, regardless of what the recipe says. Your yeast package says 105°F? Heat the liquid to that temperature) add the beer to the stand mixer, mixing until all the flour has been moistened.
  • Add the salt and 1 tablespoon softened butter, beat until the dough comes together and gathers around the blade. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size.
  • Add the dough to a lightly floured surface, cut into 8 equal sized portions.
  • Roll each portion into an 8-inch log, shape into a pretzel, add to a baking sheet.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Add the water to a large pot, bring to a boil. Stir in the baking soda.
  • A few at a time carefully add the pretzels to the boiling water for 30 seconds, place back onto the baking sheet.
  • Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until dark golden brown.

Make the cheese sauce:

  • Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth.
  • Add to a saucepan over medium heat, heat to the desired temperature.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use, heat to serve. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.
  • Serve the pretzels with the cheese sauce.

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Jennifer July 20, 2020 um 12:23 pm

Hi Jackie,
What kind of beer do you use for the cheese sauce?
Thank you!


Jackie July 20, 2020 um 3:56 pm

I used Guinness! If you want a really strong beer flavor, use an IPA


Christine @ myblissfulmess November 7, 2020 um 7:17 am

5 stars
I only made the Guinness cheese sauce part of this recipe. I was too lazy and too afraid of dough to make my own pretzels, so I cheated and got store bought soft pretzels and cut them into bite sized pieces. This is an AMAZING app for any occasion. Small group of friends/family coming over? Family game night? Stay-In Date Night? Movie night? You really don’t need an excuse. It’s delicious! I used Guinness Extra Stout and it’s perfect for this recipe! I wouldn’t drink it, but it’s awesome in this cheese dip! I have your cookbook, Craft Beer Bites and I can’t wait to make more of your recipes! YUM!


Christine January 11, 2021 um 2:30 pm

The pretzel recipients has butter listed twice in different amounts, but I only see it used in the directions once to brush on the top. Where does the other butter go? Cheese sauce super yummy.


Jackie January 12, 2021 um 9:11 am

It goes in the dough! I updated it to make it more clear.


Dylan Harris February 5, 2021 um 7:48 am

5 stars
How many servings does the cheese dip make? I know the pretzels depends on how big you make them.


Jackie February 5, 2021 um 12:39 pm

It depends on how much you eat! It makes about 3 cups


Jean March 26, 2021 um 5:57 pm

How long does it take for the dough to rise?


Jackie March 28, 2021 um 12:59 pm

about an hour


M December 16, 2021 um 10:54 am

what kind of flour? AP? Bread?


Jackie December 16, 2021 um 11:11 am

Unless otherwise stated, assume "flour" refers to AP flour. You can also use bread flour for slightly chewier pretzels, but you will need to use about a tablespoon per cup less


Sophie January 7, 2023 um 2:21 pm

I rarely read the story before a recipe. But what a moment in our history to capture so perfectly in a recipe. I can’t wait to try this recipe, but just to say, this story was really beautifully put.


Vanessa February 20, 2023 um 9:24 am

What is the shelf life of these pretzels and cheese sauce? Can either be frozen? Thanks


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