Beer Mac and Cheese

As many of you might already be aware, I am from Wisconsin. Among so many amazing things, Wisconsin is known for cheese, and beer. We are often referred to as ‘Cheeseheads’, and live in the land of dairy. I’m actually cool with all of that. I like the fact that we are known for cheese, especially the fact that we have some really good cheese being produced in our state. Not only that, but we are also known for beer, and great beer at that. So with that said, I thought I would come up with a recipe using both products, and create a beer mac and cheese.

Beer Mac and Cheese Recipe

This recipe infuses beer throughout the entire mac and cheese process. I first cook the pasta in beer, then while making the roux for the sauce, I begin slowly adding in beer to make the sauce. It’s a great new take on a mac and cheese, and is geared towards any beer lover.

Let’s get started:


  • 1/2 lb of elbow macaroni, or your favorite mac and cheese pasta, cooked before al dente
  • 24 oz New Glarus Spotted Cow beer, or your favorite ale
  • 5 cups of water
  • 6 slices of Nueske’s bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 oz IPA beer, or your favorite beer
  • 2 cups of grated white cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of half and half, or 2% milk
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • Generous pinch of salt for pasta water
  • Nice pinch of cracked black pepper

Begin by bringing your 24 ounces of beer and water to a boil. Season with salt. Add in the pasta and cook just before al dente, as we are going to finish the pasta off in the oven.  During this time, cook the bacon until it is nice and crisp, and set aside to crumble.

Next, get a large enough pan to hold the pasta, as we are going to make the sauce and combine everything together. If you do not have a large pan, don’t worry, as you can combine the two in a mixing bowl before placing in the oven to finish cooking.

Bring the pan to a medium heat, and toss in the butter. Let this melt until it is nice and bubbly. Add in the flour. Stir this with a wooden spoon and cook the flour until it is a nice golden color, then slowly add in the half and half. Continue stirring until all of the lumps are out, then add in the six ounces of beer. Continue stirring until everything is nice and smooth.

Ingredients for making beer mac and cheese recipe

Toss in the black pepper, and mustard powder. Stir. Toss in your cheeses, and continue stirring until you have a nice and creamy cheese sauce. Super easy. Super delicious. Things should start smelling like beer. That’s good.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now, add in the drained and cooked pasta, and the crumbled bacon. Give this a good stir.

I cooked mine in a cast iron skillet which I simply slipped into the oven, however if you are going to transfer everything to a casserole dish, simply spray the inside of the dish with cooking spray, or rub lightly with some butter.

Place this in the oven, uncovered for 30 minutes.

You will notice right off the bat, the aroma of the beer. I liked it. I actually loved it. The great note of the beer infused in the pasta, then the hoppiness from the IPA beer. If you are looking for something different to make for a mac and cheese dish, this might be the one.


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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

10 thoughts to “Beer Mac and Cheese”

  1. I cannot wait to make this for my fiancee – I know he is going to fall in love with it!! He is a huge IPA drinker so I know that this is going to become his new favorite Mac-n-Cheese recipe that I make, thanks for the weight gain 🙂

  2. I’ll make this for my Spanish boyfriend….he will FLIP OUT. I can’t find IPA here, but there is a wide variety of German bottled beers at our grocery store. Should I go for a lager or something darker? The smoked bacon will be a challenge to find….but maybe I can used the cured Spanish ham as a twist.

  3. I lived in Wisco for some wonderful years, and I am delighted that this blog pays homage to the wonderful state! I miss the beer, cheese, brats, and other wonderful things and I can’t wait to make this recipe. Just wish I could get Spotted Cow or any New Glarus where I live now. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I just made this tonight in 2 parts – 1/2 following the recipe (mostly) and the other 1/2 subbing cauliflower for the macaroni. Both versions were FANTASTIC. I chopped the cauliflower into edible bites and boiled in the beer/water until slightly tender. The only other alteration I made was that I made the cheese sauce in the same pot I cooked the bacon in, meaning delicious bacon drippings as a bonus to the sauce! This recipe is a keeper for sure!

  5. Great idea – just be careful using IPA in this recipe – the hop bitterness isn’t always so pleasant in food. Amber ale, a low alpha pale, blonde, etc would be perfectly suited. I think I’m gonna rock the Nueske’s and please the hubby with this recipe today!

  6. Made this for dinner with ribs for friends the other night and it was awesome. We did some beer tasting to go along with dinner and I could not have imagined a better meal or night – YUM. (although I reminded my finace that when I look bigger than I want to in the wedding dress, we need to just remember how delicious this Mac & Cheese is!!) = will be blogging this soon!!

  7. Just found this recipe, and as a Cheesehead from another continent, (Gouda, born and raised) I can’t wait to make this recipe!

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