Make Ahead

Beer and Pretzels (IPA Fondue)

February 17, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6-10 (gluttony levels vary)
Author Notes

I love fondue, I love IPAs, and I love the "beer dip" that a particular set of my friends serve at every party with pretzels. Why not combine them?

Use a high-quality, strong IPA, such as Bear Republic Racer 5 (7% alcohol) or Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA (6% alcohol). This has a strong flavor - if you don't like IPAs (horror!), you can use a brown ale; just substitute 1 1/2 pounds of sharp Cheddar instead of the combined cheeses. Keep the scallions. - MeghanVK —MeghanVK

Test Kitchen Notes

The cheese pairing in this fondue is brilliant because Gruyere gives your mouth what it expects in a fondue and tangy cheddar (Barbar’s two-year-old vintage English cheddar in this test), compliments the bitter IPA (Bear Republic Racer 5 as Meghan VK suggests). Cheddar also eases the mechanics of tucking into fondue as it doesn’t have endless stretching powers. No worries about cheese strings hanging from your chin with this one! The combo does seem to separate slightly unless it’s fully on the flame, so keep the fuel going under it for best results right to the bottom of the pot. —cheese1227

What You'll Need
  • 1 12 oz. bottle India Pale Ale
  • 3/4 pound sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 3/4 pound Swiss or Gruyere (fancy!), grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • pretzel rolls - 1 per person
  1. Preheat your broiler. Pour the beer into a large Dutch oven and bring it to a boil (feel free to open one of the other beers at this point, to keep you company); reduce the heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes, until slightly reduced.
  2. Sprinkle the cornstarch over your grated cheeses and toss to coat. Add the cheese, a handful at a time, to the bubbling beer, stirring after each addition and allowing each handful to melt completely. Stir in the scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste; keep warm over low heat.
  3. Pull apart the pretzel rolls and spread them onto a cookie sheet. Toast them quickly under the broiler (don't let them burn). Surround the warm fondue with these pulled, lightly toasted pretzel rolls, and enjoy with more beer!
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1 Review

hardlikearmour February 17, 2011
Love your header! I'm an IPA hater, my hubby is a lover. I just can't get over the bitterness in the straight beer, though I imagine the fat from the cheese would really temper it.