Slow Cooker Cheddar Ale and Bratwurst Soup

… In pretzel bowls. BUT you’ll have to wait a few days for those. They’re really awesome by the way…

But one would question why I’m even making a beer soup at all considering how much I hate it. The smell and the taste especially. Then again, the smell holds me off from even trying it most of the time. I’ll stick to my cranberry juice thank you very much.

But you see, it’s Oktoberfest! I know we’re nearing the end and honestly I thought for sure it’d be at least in the middle of the month and not the very beginning but you can enjoy this soup all winter long. Let’s call Oktoberfest the beginning of soup season, unofficially of course… especially since I’ve already shared not one but two soups. I can’t help it. I love fall and all things comforting and delicious. I see you’re in full agreement so let’s continue.

Cheese goes with pretzels. Pretzels go with beer. Beer is what Oktoberfest is kind of all about (right?). And Oktoberfest means lots of bratwurst. Thus… a cheese-tastic beer soup with chunks of seared pork sausage. I contemplated adding potatoes, but didn’t. In the future I’ll absolutely add them in to add more bulk to the soup but feel free to leave them out … or add them in… whatever you prefer.

Finish off Oktoberfest by grabbing your slow cookers and having a delicious weekend!

Slow Cooker Cheddar Ale and Bratwurst Soup

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dinner, Slow cooker, Soup
Servings: 4


  • 1 C yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 C potatoes optional
  • 1/2 C carrot shredded
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 10 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 16-19 oz Bratwurst
  • 12 oz ale
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour


  • To your slow cooker add chopped onion, minced garlic, carrots and optional potatoes. If using potatoes, peel and slice into 1 inch cubes. Sprinkle with seasonings and shredded cheese. Pour in chicken broth and beer. Cover and begin cooking for 4 hours on high, or 8 on low.
  • Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium high heat melt butter. Add whole bratwurst, searing on each side. Remove, slicing into 1/2 inch pieces. Return to skillet to sear on each side. Remove and slice each piece in half. Carefully add to slow cooker. Cover and continue cooking.
  • In your last 30 minutes of cooking, remove 1/2 cup liquid to a large bowl. To it add flour and heavy cream. Stir well. Return to slow cooker giving a good stir and replacing cover to finish cooking.
  • Serve hot.
  • May be stored chilled for up to several days.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel
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29 Responses to “Slow Cooker Cheddar Ale and Bratwurst Soup”

  1. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — October 5, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Yuuuummmmmyyy! I made a cheddar ale soup in pretzel bowls last year and couldn’t get enough! I’m not much of a beer fan either but you can’t go wrong with a cheese soup!

  2. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town — October 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

    What a delicious looking dish that is perfect for these fall/winter days we can expect any moment!

  3. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — October 5, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Oooh I love this!

  4. #
    natalie@thesweetslife — October 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    i cannot wait for the pretzel bowls!!

    and i’m from Wisconsin originally so this is like the food of my heritage ;)

  5. #
    kita — October 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    OMG yes please. Seriously this sounds like my kind of meal!

  6. #
    Linda @ My Foodgasm Journal — October 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I hear you! It’s Octoberfest – bratwurst and beer are allowed for daily consumption, j/k.

  7. #
    Bun Boy — October 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Amazing. I hope i can get my hands on a pretzel boule like that!

  8. #
    Tracey — October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Oh wow, I am so all over every bit of this! I think it’s supposed to get a ton cooler here this weekend and soup might be necessary :)

  9. #
    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — October 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve never liked beer cheese soup much either, but I’m pretty sure I’d eat the crap out of this! :) Happy Oktoberfest!

  10. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — October 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I love those bread bowls! I’ve never tried beer cheese soup partly because I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed after how incredible it always looks, but I might have to give it a try!

  11. #
    Monet — October 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Now this has my name written all over it! What a satisfying recipe! Thank you for sharing…and whetting my appetite for dinner. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  12. #
    Elizabeth @Food Ramblings — October 6, 2012 at 8:34 am

    my husband is salivating over my shoulder reading this!

  13. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — October 6, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I do wonder why you would make something you hate…life’s too short! But though I’m not a fan of beer; I love it in bread and combined with cheese…go figure huh?

    I’ll eat your portion; how’s that?

  14. #
    Angela @ AnotherBitePlease — October 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Happy Oktoberfest….My husband would die if I made this for him. score for wifey…now I can’t wait for pretzel bowl recipe!!!

  15. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — October 8, 2012 at 6:53 am

    I’m not a beer drinker but it goes well in soup and chili. This is perfect!

  16. #
    Carlas Confections — October 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    This looks like heaven in a bread bowl! YUM!

  17. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — October 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I think I just drooled on my keyboard. I love hearty/creamy soups such as this and you know i’m a carb-o-holic like you so that pretzel bread bowl is seriously something to die for!

  18. #
    Amber — October 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hi! I’d like to freeze this to take to a soup swap party. Any reason not to freeze it?
    Sounds yummy- thx for sharing!

    • #
      Rachel — October 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Hi Amber, Honestly I can’t be completely sure how this one would freeze. I’d only be concerned with this one due to the cheese. Typically most soups and stews can be frozen and reheated but those I’ve frozen haven’t had any dairy in them.

  19. #
    Kasia — November 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    This one looks fantastic! Recipe is a save

  20. #
    ali — November 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Did anyone have problems with the soup not thickening or the cheese not melting? I DID,,,,

    • #
      Rachel — November 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble. Unfortunately I don’t know what could have gone wrong for you as there are many factors with cooking something as this… the temperature your slow cooker was cooking at (all models vary and even more so from older to newer models), certain brands of cheese don’t melt as easily as others, if it was a larger batch etc. I haven’t heard of anyone else having an issue such as you mentioned.

  21. #
    Rachael — August 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I skipped the heavy cream and used 1c ff milk w/ 2T cornstarch – whisk well, then add 1T flour – whisk well. Add 1/2c of soup and ½ flour as directed – whisk well – thickened well w/ a lot less fat! Enjoy

  22. #
    Angela — October 4, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    How many servings does this recipe make? What size crock pot was used? I am planning to make it for a potluck, so I want to make sure that I have a good amount. Thanks!

    • #
      Rachel — October 5, 2014 at 8:54 am

      It’s been several years since posting this, however my best guess is 6-8 or more with much smaller servings. A 5-6qt slow cooker should be used.

  23. #
    Shannie L — March 8, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Just made this soup for my co-workers. It was easy, VERY tasty and rich and filling!!! Served it with pretzel buns and everyone loved it. Will definitely be making this again!!! Thanks for the idea!

    • #
      Rachel — March 9, 2016 at 7:51 am

      So glad to hear everyone enjoyed it, Shannie! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  24. #
    Emily — September 13, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Made this dish using Samuel Adams Oktoberfest beer and sour dough bread bowls from panera bread. I love love love this soup! I thought all the favors blended very well together and will be making this again when it snows and I’m in need of something to warm me up. Very good job!

    • #
      Rachel — September 14, 2016 at 7:30 am

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it, Emily! Thanks for sharing! :)

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