Pumpkin Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Sharp Cheddar and Gruyere

I feel terrible about this, and I really don’t even remember how it happened, but somewhere along the way our almost-two-year-old daughter picked up a little phrase.

“I want beer!”

Not just “I want beer.” But “I. Want. BEEEER!”

She throws it out there randomly, oh, about once a day. Sitting at breakfast, from the back of the car, randomly to the lady at the supermarket (“Ahhh, she’s so cute, what did she just say?” “Umm … gosh uh, I’m really not sure!”)

I think she keeps it up because my first reaction is always to laugh out loud, until I catch myself and remind myself that she’s probably saying it because it causes Mommy to make that funny half laugh/half snort noise.

Or maybe it’s because Daddy and Mommy are, frankly, beer fans, though I can’t remember the last time either of us realized, “hey, I’m thirsty” and then loudly proclaimed, “I. Want. BEEERRR!”

But we do want beer nonetheless. Especially in this fall-inspired beer cheese soup. (Clunky segue? Yeah, I know and I apologize).

Pumpkin Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Sharp Cheddar and Gruyere | Kitchen Treaty

I’ve been wanting to try beer cheese soup for while. I wish I could declare myself an aficionado, but I am not. A bowl full of melted cheese … okay, maybe for my waistline, it is best that I am NOT an aficionado. But my brain wishes I’d tried this incredible stuff. A lot. Every day of my life so far. At least once.

It’s so good.

This version perks up the classic beer cheese soup, which is generally made of a lighter american ale and sharp cheddar cheese, with pumpkin. Pumpkin puree, pumpkin ale, and a bit of sage and nutmeg to round out those warm wonderful fall flavors. I also replaced a bit of the cheddar with a sprinkle of nutty Gruyere, which adds another complementary note.

Pumpkin Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Sharp Cheddar and Gruyere | Kitchen Treaty

It’s still your tangy, cheesy beer cheese soup at heart, but with a seasonal twist. I think this will have to be one of many future beer cheese soup creations. I would like to be an aficionado, and most importantly, my kid wants beer. And I aim to please.

(She is SO TOTALLY NEVER getting beer.)

Print Recipe

Pumpkin Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Sharp Cheddar and Gruyere

Oooh so cheesy and comforting and perfect for the season. Pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and a couple of pinches of nutmeg add comforting fall notes to classic beer cheese soup.

Yield: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced small (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 celery stalk, diced small (1/4 cup)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage (4-5 medium leaves) - or 1/2 teapoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle pumpkin ale (I use Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt like kosher salt (can use table salt, but I suggest about 1/2 teaspoon to start as it's a little harsher)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (about 1/4 pound)
  • Pinch or two of ground nutmeg, to taste (I add about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Melt butter to a four-quart or larger saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, and bay leaf. Saute, stirring frequently, for another minute.
  2. Add the flour and continue cooking over medium low heat, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the milk, vegetable broth, and beer in a stream, whisking well. Return to a simmer and cook for about five more minutes until very slightly thickened.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add handfuls of cheese, stirring constantly. Cook until cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Adapted from [i]Gourmet[/i]

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4 Responses to “Pumpkin Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Sharp Cheddar and Gruyere”

  1. Courtney @ The Fig Tree posted on October 28, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Wow! This looks delicious! I’ve been wanting to try a beer and cheese soup too. Love that you added pumpkin ale! Great idea.

  2. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate posted on October 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I’m loving the look of those pretzel buns in the background too!

  3. Linnie B. posted on January 10, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Hi! This looks great — neither of these cheese are, generally, vegetarian (they use animal rennet) – so which veggie brand did you use? I’m dying to find more! Thanks!

    • Karen Troughton posted on January 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Hi, I am a faithful Tillamook cheese customer. They use vegetable rennet in making most of their cheeses (including their non-vintage sharp cheddar). I did not check the label on my gruyere cheese, so it could very well have contained animal rennet. I chose to add a little gruyere because it compliments pumpkin so well, but I’m sure this soup would still be good if you substituted more vegetable-rennet-based cheddar for the gruyere.

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