Beer In The Kitchen: How To Make Beer Mac N’ Cheese

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Beer In The Kitchen: How To Make Beer Mac N’ Cheese

Two of my favorite things in the world are pasta and beer, so it makes sense that I would combine them together into one epic dish. In a previous post I talked about making IPA Chicken Fettuccine, which is always a solid dinner choice. Sometimes; however, nothing quite beats a good Mac n’ Cheese, unless of course that Mac n’ Cheese also has beer in it.

While this recipe has a lot of stuff in it, it’s super easy to make, and is something even non beer lovers will enjoy chowing down on. For this particular batch I used a brown ale from Upslope Brewing in Boulder, Colorado. I’d recommend staying away from hops, and going for a brown ale or something similar when you do this at home. I also went with a mixture of extra sharp cheddar and white cheddar. You can change that up as well based on your personal preference, and use whatever type of cheese you’re into. After a few different attempts at this one though, I think the cheddar + brown ale combo is where it’s at, although I’ve been know to throw in some pepper jack as well.

What You Need:


1lb pasta (I use Penne noodles, but you can go for traditional elbows or any shape that strikes your fancy)

2 cloves of garlic (I have a giant jar of minced garlic I use)

3/4 cup beer of your choice

4 cups of grated cheese

1/2 cup flour

2 cups of half & half (or regular milk)

2 tbsp of chives



1. Take out two pots. In one, start to cook your pasta (according to the directions on the box). In the other, pour your milk and beer, and heat it to a medium temperature.

2. Grate your cheese (if you didn’t buy the pre-shredded kind) and slowly add it to your milk, stirring as you go. That stirring bit is critical, if you just drop everything in at once you’ll likely end up with a big glob of burning cheese at the bottom of your pot.

3. Add the chives and garlic, and then slowly stir in the flour until the sauce is thickened (the amount you need might vary slightly based on the milk and cheese you use).

4. By now, your pasta should be cooked. Strain the water from it, and then stir it into your cheese mixture.

At this point you have Mac n’ Cheese that is ready to be enjoyed. If you want to take things to the next level, you can turn it into baked Mac n’ Cheese.

For baked Mac n’ Cheese, you’ll need:

1 cup bread crumbs



1/4 butter

How to make it happen:

1. Melt your butter in a small bowl in the microwave

2. Stir in your bread crumbs

3. Fill a small oven-save dish with your pasta, and then cover it with your bread crumb + butter mixture

4. Sprinkle the whole thing with parsley

5. Add some cooked bacon to the top (chopped into bacon-bit size)

6. Bake the whole thing at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the bread crumbs start to brown.

7. Invite all your friends over to marvel at your amazing cooking skills!

Emily is the Assistant Drink Editor at Paste, and is likely eating Mac & Cheese right now. You can follow her drinking exploits (and some other stuff) on Twitter @Emily.

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