- 5 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups dark or amber beer
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 4 slices American cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- Old Fashioned Soft Pretzels, chips, or jerky, for serving
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When melted, add flour and cook, stirring continuously, until roux turns golden brown and begins to smell nutty, about 3 minutes. Add beer, bring to a high simmer, and continue to cook until beer is reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add cream, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, stirring often to prevent boiling over. Continue to simmer until sauce thickens considerably, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard thyme sprig and bay leaf.
Add the cheeses a handful at a time and stir until melted. Do not allow to boil or the cheese will become grainy. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with soft pretzels, chips, and jerky.