German beer cheese dip

Whether for your Oktoberfest party or any time in between, you will love this authentic and delicious German beer cheese dip.

If you have never had a fresh pretzel with a good helping of this German beer cheese dip, you are in for a treat!

There is a reason this might be one of the most popular dishes at the original Oktoberfest in Munich. But you can find this savory cheese spread not only during Oktoberfest but also in pretty much any Bavarian beer garden. In fact, people love to make it and enjoy it at home.

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Why you’ll love this German beer cheese dip

This german dip is one of those original recipes that checks all the boxes for me! It is delicious, it is super quick and easy to make, and it is a very flexible recipe. All of the ingredients are easy to find and inexpensive.

You can make this easy beer cheese dip as an appetizer or small supper or even bring it to your next potluck. Actually, it is the classic Bavarian beer garden dish!

Why is it called “Obatzda”

While this word might sound a bit funny, Obatzda actually means something. It is a Bavarian word with “batz” in it which literally means dirt or mud. Something that’s been caked or smeared together. And that is the literal translation. You might have seen it spelled “Obazda” or “Obatzter” or “Der Obatzde”.

What are the ingredients for this German beer cheese dip

Here are the basic ingredients for this spreadable cheese dip:

  • Cheese: the traditional cheese here is a brie cheese or ripe camembert cheese, ideally very ripe and with a fat content of about 45%
  • Butter: since the cheese alone can be a bit strong, we will add butter
  • Cream cheese: this soft cheese softens the taste even more and makes it creamier.
  • Onion: my favorite one to use in this recipe is a shallot for its milder flavor
  • Paprika: this spice gives a great taste and pale red color
  • Beer: it is called “beer cheese” for a reason but you can absolutely omit it
  • Chives: we use this herb as a garnish that adds a nice color contrast
ingredients for German beer cheese dip

Useful tools and equipment

Luckily you won’t need much to make this dish. All you really need is a medium-sized bowl, a knife, a fork or pastry blender, and your ingredients.

Some people prefer making it in a stand mixer such as their Kitchenaid or in their food processor but I have always been making it by hand.

How to make this Obatzda

  1. Make sure to have all your ingredients at room temperature. That means taking the cheese, cream cheese, and butter out of the refrigerator at least one hour before you want to make this cheese spread.
  2. Cut the cheese, the butter, and the cream cheese into chunks and add them to a medium bowl.
  3. Begin mixing them with a fork or pastry blender.
  4. Add the paprika and some salt and pepper.
  5. Now add a splash of beer and mix all the ingredients well. I personally like it a bit on the chunkier, stiffer side but you can also add a bit more beer and blend everything into more of a uniform cream.
  6. Transfer it to a nice serving bowl and sprinkle it with some diced chives.

Note: I do not cut the rind off the camembert. First of all, I don’t like to throw something out that is perfectly edible. And secondly, the rind is perfectly edible. If you don’t like it, simply remove it before cutting the cheese into chunks.

Substitutions and variations

What I have given you is a very basic but delicious recipe. You can vary the amounts and/or the ingredients:

  • Cheese: you can use your favorite soft-ripened cheese here. The most important thing is that it needs to be very ripe and soft.
  • Cream cheese: I have often made this recipe without cream cheese so it is up to your preference. You can also use quark for this Bavarian recipe or some heavy cream.
  • Onion: you can use any onion you like: white, yellow, sweet, shallots, leeks, spring onions, or any combination of those.
  • Paprika: I like this because it is the most traditional. However, you can use some cayenne or spicy type of pepper as well.
  • Other spices: many people like to add caraway seeds to the spread. Even though I like and often use caraway seeds, I personally find it a bit overpowering for this cheese dip. The same goes for adding a small garlic clove: you can add it but I find it too strong.
  • Beer: in my opinion, the best beer is what you have at home or what you can find in your local store. Traditionalists may insist that it has to be some type of German beer. I used the Trader Joe’s brand Hefeweizen which is a great choice. If you don’t like alcohol in this recipe you can either use non-alcoholic beer or omit it entirely. Some people like to add a splash of white wine.
  • Egg: there are a lot of recipes that include one egg yolk. I have done that in the past as well and really liked it. My main concern would be having the raw egg in this German beer cheese dip if it’s sitting out for a long time.
German beer cheese spread on a piece of soft pretzel

How to serve the German beer cheese spread

For me, the best way to enjoy this spread is with fresh, soft pretzels which is also the classic way. Of course, we love our homemade pretzels. You can also use little snack pretzels. Or use a dark, whole-grain type of bread or even a fresh crusty bread. To make it more of a small meal, Germans like to have radishes or maybe a light green salad with it.

Feel free to improvise. You might even like this cheese dip with your favorite crackers (such as these sourdough crackers) or raw vegetables. Tortilla chips or pita chips anyone?

Of course, if you want to be very authentic you would enjoy this spread with a cold stein of Weissbier or some Oktoberfest beer.

Make ahead of time?

Typically, you make this traditional German beer cheese dip and serve it immediately.

I have found that I like it just the same the next day since all the flavors seem to develop a little bit. Just make sure to keep it in the refrigerator but let it come closer to room temperature before serving. That way it will taste better, trust me!

German beer cheese dip

Other … recipes you might like

How to make German Quark

Authentic German Potato Salad

Easy German Schnitzel

How to make Onion Pie

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German pairing knife

Medium bowl

Pastry blender

Kitchenaid stand mixer

Food processor

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How to make authentic German beer cheese dip

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