Beer + cheese. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Kentucky concoction

, Louisville Courier JournalPublished 6:25 a.m. ET Sept. 3, 2019 

Beer. Cheese. Objectively two of the most beloved food items in the world. Both span centuries, continents and cultures.

But beer cheese? It’s a Kentucky thing.

Nearly every brewery and brewpub menu around Louisville has an iteration of the mouth-watering appetizer: most traditionally a combination of cheddar cheese, beer, cayenne pepper, paprika and some garlic.

Kentuckians feel strongly about their beer cheese — its serving temperature, whether it’s accompanied by a soft pretzel or chips, the best cheese to use and the beer you should never use.

And they should, since Winchester, Kentucky likes to take credit for inventing the modern pub-food concoction. It’s all about that good ol’ Bluegrass State pride!

Beer cheese is rarely seen outside of central Kentucky, or if it is, it’s usually a bastardized version, not what’s found in Winchester, Lexington or here in Louisville. And it’s so popular that the exact beer cheese recipe is kept a secret at nearly every local establishment.

We know you love it. So we’ve put together the ultimate Louisville beer cheese guide so you can get your fix on all things beer + cheese.

Temperature debate: cold vs. hot

Temperature is by far one of the most controversial issues surrounding beer cheese locally: Is it best served hot or cold?

Many Kentuckians have a strong opinion about the temperature of their beer cheese but one thing is for certain — beer cheese is definitely not the same as nachos or the processed cheese served with pretzels at high school football games. And the version of beer cheese invented in Winchester, Kentucky is served cold.

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