In our house, football season means cheese — particularly of the melted and spicy variety. It also means beer. So, as we tend to do, we decided to combine the two and make a spicy beer queso dip. For this easy recipe we use good beer and good cheese, and give it a kick of spice and color with sriracha.

Good beer is important. A quality pale ale will have a great balance of hops and a malty backbone, which is perfect for pairing with different cheeses. And like our beer cheese soup, on which it was based, this queso dip calls for three cheeses: a sharp white cheddar-style, a double Gloucester (or Cotswold, which is Gloucester with herbs and onion) and pepper jack. Feel free to mix up your cheeses, but don’t use anything that’s been aged too long, or it won’t melt well. In addition to spice, the sriracha gives this queso dip that nice orangey color you might get from less quality, but more dip-grade “cheeses” (Velveeta, we’re talking to you).

You’ll definitely enjoy eating it, but don’t forget to take note of the amazing yeasty smell this creates on the stove.

Spicy Beer Queso Dip
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup half and half
12-ounces pale ale
8 ounces sharp white cheddar-style cheese, shredded or grated
8 ounces Gloucester cheese, shredded or grated
8 ounces pepper or habanero jack chese, shredded or grated
2-3 tablespoons sriracha
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add the butter to the pan over low heat and allow it to melt. Then add the flour and stir or whisk until it’s fully incorporated and begins to smell nutty. Add half of the beer, and stir to incorporate, then do the same with the half and half.

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Adjust the heat to medium, and slowly add the cheeses, stirring continuously. When the cheeses are completely melted, add the rest of the beer, the hot sauce, and jalapeno, and mix well. Salt and pepper isn’t really necessary, but you can add it if you want.

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Serve with a cold pale ale and tortilla chips.