This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

Homemade pub cheese is such an easy win. It’s creamy, super-flavorful, make-ahead friendly, and ready in 10 minutes.

pub cheese in a white bowl with two kinds of crackers
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why we love this recipe

Of all the classic bar snacks we crave, pub cheese is perhaps the quickest and easiest to make at home. Our version is:

  • Super-savory and intensely flavored
  • Smooth and creamy
  • Flexible: use dry sherry or amber ale

I first published a similar recipe here way back in 2009, after my friend Daphne and I made a huge batch of what she kept delightfully calling “pottage cheese” and gave it away in little pots as part of a homemade holiday gift. I’ve since made significant changes to the recipe and updated the post for clarity.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Extra-sharp cheddar provides a tangy, savory background, while cream cheese contributes both creaminess and brightness.
  • You can choose between dry sherry (which I love) and amber ale (which is the traditional choice for pub cheese). Depending which variety of sherry you use, you’ll get a tangier or slightly sweeter and nuttier result. I usually use a good Amontillado, which leans toward caramel, but you can use any type as long as it’s dry. Learn more about sherry varieties here.
  • The amount of cayenne listed in the recipe provides a low-key hint of spice that complements the creamy spread from the background. You can add more if you want a spicy result.

How to make it

Here’s what you’ll do to make a savory and satisfying batch of pub cheese in about 10 minutes. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Shred the cheddar on the large holes of a box grater or using your food processor’s shredding disk. Then fit the food processor with the blade. Add the cheddar, cream cheese, shallot, garlic, dijon, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  2. Pour in the sherry or beer.
  3. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary to incorporate all ingredients.
  4. Serve with crackers, soft pretzels, or vegetables.

Expert tips and FAQs

Got any variations?

Sure! This recipe is easy to customize. Spice it up with your favorite hot sauce. After blending, stir in cooked crumbled bacon or sausage, diced fresh or pickled jalapeños, or diced dill or sour pickles. For an alcohol-free version, use milk instead of the sherry or beer.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Absolutely. This spread keeps very well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. It will firm up when cold, so I like to leave it out a room temperature for 30 minutes or so before serving.

More favorite classic bar snacks

dipping a cracker into pub cheese

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

pub cheese in a white bowl with two kinds of crackers
4.72 from 7 votes

Pub Cheese

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Homemade pub cheese is such an easy win. It's creamy, super-flavorful, make-ahead friendly, and ready in 10 minutes. Makes about two cups of cheese spread.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese
  • cup minced shallot, from 1 small shallot
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • teaspoon ground cayenne
  • ¼ cup dry sherry or flat beer, try an amber ale

Instructions 

  • Shred the cheddar on the large holes of a box grater or using your food processor’s shredding disk.
  • Fit the food processor with the blade.
  • Add the shredded cheddar, cream cheese, shallot, garlic, dijon, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Pour in the sherry or beer.
  • Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary to incorporate all ingredients.
  • Serve with crackers, soft pretzels, or vegetables.

Notes

  1. You can choose between dry sherry (which I love) and amber ale (which is the traditional choice for pub cheese). Depending which variety of sherry you use, you’ll get a tangier or slightly sweeter and nuttier result. I usually use a good Amontillado, which leans toward caramel, but you can use any type as long as it’s dry. Learn more about sherry varieties here.
  2. The amount of cayenne listed in the recipe provides a low-key hint of spice that complements the creamy spread from the background. You can add more if you want a spicy result.
  3. This recipe is easy to customize. Spice it up with your favorite hot sauce. After blending, stir in cooked crumbled bacon or sausage, diced fresh or pickled jalapeños, or diced dill or sour pickles. For an alcohol-free version, use milk instead of the sherry or beer. 
  4. Cheese spread keeps very well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. It will firm up when cold, so I like to leave it out a room temperature for 30 minutes or so before serving. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon, Calories: 32kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.4g, Protein: 1.7g, Fat: 2.6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snacks and Starters
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

More Recipes

Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.72 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating