Smoked Sausage and Hatch Chile Beer Cheese Dip is the greatest thing to happen to cheesy beer-infused dips since cheddar.
Smoked Sausage + Smoked Hatch Chile Peppers + Beer + Cheese = pure bliss.
My husband has a thing for cheese. He can’t resist buying a few fancy cheeses whenever he goes to the supermarket, and he’s a total sucker for a good melted beer cheese dip. One of our favorite cheese dips can be found at Deschutes Brewery (Portland, OR), made with creamy white cheese, Black Butte Porter, and stone ground mustard. It’s meant to accompany their equally indulgent soft house made brewery pretzels. It’s also a place we default to when we have the kids because it’s centrally located (in the Pearl District) and it’s open and loud (drowning the sound of our excitable youngsters. Winner!).
While other restaurants try, very few can come close to their dip. So instead of trying to make a copycat version of theirs — and forget the pretzels (we’re far from bakers, plus our boys have gluten allergies… booo!) — we decided to stick our hands at making our own version of a beer cheese dip. And duh, it would involve smoking everything.
The Ultimate Beer Cheese Dip
Of course our dip will need some meat and a little something extra to give it that “hmmmm” factor. So we decided on a combination of smoked sausage, smoked Hatch chili peppers, beer (but of course), and a mix of different types of cheeses (about half being smoked cheddar).
Though you don’t have to smoke your own cheese, unless you’re feeling really rockstar-ish. Tillamook does a pretty good job at their smoked cheddar.
Also, if football is your thing, this is prime time for tailgating season!
How to Smoke Sausage and Chile Peppers for the Beer Cheese Dip
Start with bulk hot Italian sausage, breaking it up and placing on a tray or sheet pan. Then smoke it at 250 degrees F for around one hour or until the internal temperature of the thickest chunks are at 165 degrees. We recommend using an instant read thermometer like the Thermoworks MK4, taking the temperature in the thickest pieces of sausage, inserting probe only halfway into the meat. This is also a great opportunity to get those kiddos involved 😉
At the same time you can smoke your chile peppers next to the sausage. Hatch chile peppers are in season, so we’ve been using those. But Poblanos work well too, as well as Anaheim. Hatch can be spicy so if you want less heat, go with a Poblano.
Fun fact: Did you know one fresh medium-sized green chile pod has as much Vitamin C as six oranges? So that means this dip is actually healthy for you! Uh… kinda 😉
After those little guys are smoked, chop up the chiles and break up the meat if it is still in larger chunks. Then start the dip.
How to make Smoked Sausage and Hatch Chile Beer Cheese Dip
All you do now is grab a saucepan, sauté some onions, then add the smoked meat and chiles, some flour to thicken, the BEER, the cheeses, and finally mix away until nice and smooth. Transfer to a dish and serve with slices of bread or corn chips. Or if you’re cool and went all out, serve them with your homemade pretzels (show off!).
Pro Tip: If you’re serving this for a party or don’t intend to devour it within 5 minutes of cooking, transfer to a slow cooker and keep on low to keep the cheeses from hardening back up. Leaving it over a low heat will keep it creamy and indulgent.
For Extra Kick: If you want to add a little extra kick we recommend topping your tip with some pickled peppers. We’re a little obsessed with the spicy pickled peppers by the local company, Mama Lil’s. But you can experiment with any pickled spicy pepper to top your dip with.
Best Beer for Beer Beer Cheese Dip
We like something light and fresh for this, so we like a Pilsner. Kölsch, amber, and wheat beers provide great flavor too. For something with a little extra kick try something hoppy, like an IPA.
Smoked Sausage and Hatch Chile Beer Cheese Dip
For the Smoked Sausage and Chillies:
- ½ lb ground hot Italian sausage, casings removed or buy in bulk
- 4 Hatch chile peppers
For the Beer Cheese Dip:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced
- 1/3 cup smoked Hatch chile peppers, diced (from above)
- 1 cup smoked sausage, broken up (from above)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup beer, light beers work well (pilsner, kolsch, amber)
- 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, + more for topping
- 2 teaspoons Dijon
- 1 oz cream cheese
To smoke the Sausage and Chilis:
- Preheat smoker to 250 degrees, for this I like oak wood for both the sausage and chili peppers.
- Sausage: Place the tray of sausage onto the smoker for 60-90 mins or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Chili Peppers: Cut chile in half and remove the stem and seeds. Place on smoker for up to two hours or until soft. You can go longer, but the chile may dry out so be careful. Let cool then dice them up to prep for the dip. You will need 1/3 cup of the diced smoked chiles for the dip.
- Pro Tip: If you want a char and the skin off, just put under a high broiler and rotate every minute until blackened. It won’t have the smoky flavor, but will still be delicious.
To make the Beer Cheese Dip:
- Heat up butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat then add the onion. Let soften (about 6 minutes). Add the pre-smoked chile peppers and sausage. Cook together, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
- Add the flour and stir together for 1 minute as the thickening agent. (You can use cornstarch as an alternative).
- Add the beer and bring to a simmer, then reduce to low.
- Add the cheeses, Dijon mustard, and let melt together.
- Adjust ingredients to your taste preferences.
- Enjoy with chips, baguette slices, or soft pretzels.
What to Pair with Beer Cheese Dip
Since this dish was inspired by a brewery version, and we made it with beer, it would only be fair to pair the finished dip with a beer. Go ahead and use whatever beer you used for the dip. We generally prefer lighter beers for this. Anything like a stout or porter will add intense flavors taking away from the gorgeous smoke from the sausage and chili peppers.
The hubby’s fav is Kölsch by Occidental Brewing Co. It’s super refreshing and super crisp and is fantastic inside the dip as well as a palate cleanser in between bites.
Why yes, you absolutely can, and should, pair wine with this! We cooked this on AM Northwest recently and brought wine to pair. Since we’re talking football season and casual fare, we went with some of Oregon’s newest canned wines. Yeah, that’s right, canned wines, baby! You’ll find some fun and tasty options from Free Public and Canned Oregon (brought to you by the folks who also produce Stoller Family Estate). You can see the full segment here!
What would you pair?
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*This post was originally published in September of 2015, updated in October 2018 with new information and photos.