Food & Drink

PBR Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

Make 3 quarts

A boozy cousin of pimento cheese

Photo: Griffin Bufkin

If you’ve spent any time in the Bluegrass State, chances are you’re already familiar with beer cheese. The boozy cousin of pimento cheese, it’s an addictive mash-up of spices, sharp cheddar, and—of course—beer that most likely originated in rural Clark County sometime in the mid-twentieth century. In Kentucky, you’ll find it plated with saltines and celery and spooned onto everything from pizza to spaghetti.

Further to the north, in the beer-and-dairy-rich Midwest, locals enjoy their beer cheese a different way: blended into a rich, viscous soup with serious warming power. As temperatures continue to plummet across the South, the pit masters at St. Simons, Georgia’s popular Southern Soul Barbeque are mixing up their own version. And rather than dose it with any of the craft beers in their arsenal, they pour in a dive bar staple. “PBR is a refreshing, American-style lager,” says co-owner Griffin Bufkin. “It doesn’t cloud the soup, and it doesn’t take over the soup. It just adds the perfect note.” For best results, serve this recipe with a loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of hot sauce.


    • 1/4 lb butter

    • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion

    • 1/2 cup minced celery

    • 1/2 cup minced carrot

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • 1 tsp. white pepper

    • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

    • 1/2 cup flour

    • 1 cup warm chicken stock

    • 5 cups whole milk

    • 3 cups quality sharp cheddar, shredded

    • 1 cup queso blanco or Monterey Jack, shredded

    • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

    • 2 cans Pabst Blue Ribbon


  1. Melt butter in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Then add vegetables, salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper, and cook for 10 minutes.

  2. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until the mixture darkens to a medium blonde.

  3. Pour in chicken stock to deglaze, then whisk in the milk slowly until thickened.

  4. Reduce heat to simmer and add cheese, stirring until melted thoroughly.

  5. Add Worcestershire sauce and beer and continue to simmer until ready to serve.

Recipe from Jason Leotis and Wade Parr of Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons, Georgia