Crabby Beer and Cheese Soup

As the craft beer craze continues to grow across the country, a classic soup from Wisconsin becomes a great way to showcase local artisan beer and cheeses. Now to make it really unique “just add crab”! You can interchange the beer and the cheese to your likening, maybe a big IPA with an extra sharp Cheddar. As with any of our recipes, make it your own, just make sure there is crab!

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 35m
  • Total Time: 45m


  • 1/2 pound Bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 1 Box (13oz) Soft Pretzels, baked and cut into 1/4” diced
  • Pretzel Croutons
  • 1 pound Crab Meat
  • 4 ounces Smoked Cheddar, shredded (if N/A use 12oz sharp cheddar)
  • 8 ounces Good Quality Sharp/Extra Sharp Cheddar, shredded
  • 2 cups ½ & ½
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 cups Low Sodium Chicken stock
  • 1 12oz Good Quality Local Beer (nothing too BIG)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped (1/2 TBS if using dried)
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Small Onion, small dice
  • 1 Rib Celery, small dice
  • 1/4 cup Sharp Cheddar, finely shredded


  1. In a large heavy bottom pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoons and reserve. Add the celery, onion, jalapeno and thyme and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and once melted add the flour and allow to cook slightly, but not darkening in color. Add ½ of the beer stir to combine, allow beer to cook down by about 50%. Add the chicken stock and combine fully, bring to a simmer, cook until beginning to thicken, about 8 minutes. Add the ½ & ½, remaining beer and cheese and bring back to a simmer, cook until fully combined. Add the crab and reserved bacon before serving.
  2. For the Croutons
  3. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over med-high heat, add the pretzel pieces and cook until crisp. While still hot, toss with the finely shredded cheese and allow to cool.

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