Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese

I’m not a beer snob. To be honest, the term has always rubbed against the grain.

I’m a beer fan, a beer lover, a girl fascinated by beer, but I’m not a snob.

I spent years on the fringes of the music industry in LA, and the beer snobs I meet now echo those same phrases I heard then. And so do my responses.

If you loved The Killers when we saw them play free shows at The Spaceland, you should still love them when they win Grammys.

Good music, is good music. Regardless of how many, or how few, other people like it.

If you loved Rogue Dead Guy Ale when no one carried it, you should still love it when it has mass distribution.

Good beer, is good beer. Regardless of how many, or how few, other people like it.

At a beer event a few months ago I asked the rep from North Coast Brewing why he hadn’t brought any Scrimshaw, “The Beer Snobs would eat me alive if I poured that!” And then whispered to me that it was what he drank more than anything else.

Stop doing that.

Good beer is good beer. Don’t be afraid to drink what you like, even if everyone else likes it too.

In celebration of good beer, I give you my favorite one pot, quick and easy, make this for Thanksgiving, you will never make it from a box again, Mac & Cheese. Hope you still love it even when everyone else does too.

Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 4 strips of bacon, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup beer (pale ale, blonde, bock, and Hef work well, an IPA will give you a very strong beer flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (fresh grated, pre-shreaded has additives that prevents it from melting properly)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste


  1. In a large pot of boiling water, add the noodles and cook until just before done. Don't over-cook the noodles or this will end up mushy.
  2. Drain the pasta, return the pot to the stove and cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pot and allow to cool.
  3. Drain off bacon grease and return drained noodles to the pot.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the beer, egg and sour cream, beat until well combined.
  5. Add the butter and the beer mixture to the noodles and return to medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted.
  6. About 1/4 a cup at a time, add the cheese. Stir until cheese has melted before adding more.
  7. Add the spices and chopped bacon, stir.
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65 thoughts on “Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese

  1. I can’t agree more. I liked Arrogant Bastard back when the name was still a shocker, and I still do, damn it!

    1. Me too! I love Stone and I am very glad that they are so widely distributed because it makes it easy for me to recommend to every one AND the world needs good beer spread far and wide πŸ˜‰

  2. NOM NOM. mac n cheese is the way to my heart!! are you trying to woe me Jackie? πŸ˜‰

  3. This sounds wonderful! And I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on ‘beer snobs’, ‘music snobs,’ etc. Living in Music City USA, there are tons of people who are proud to call themselves music snobs + that just never sits well with me. Like you said, if you loved a musician when no one knew him, why are you suddenly too cool for him when he wins a Grammy? good is good, period!

  4. I agree 100%–good beer is good beer. I just wish some of them were more widely distributed–Bell’s, I’m looking at you! This mac and cheese sounds so rich and comforting. πŸ™‚

  5. An interesting discussion I have often with people is those who “don’t understand” craft beer. My truck driver uncle swears by his Bud and Coors – as he puts it, he just wants a cold beer that he can gulp down easily and that goes with anything, you know?

    I of course don’t agree with him at all, but the man is 6’5″ and drives a motorcycle, so he’s not the kind of person you verbally disagree with πŸ˜›

    Anywho, this sounds great! I love that you used sour cream. I’ve gotta try beer mac & cheese soon!

    1. I’ve had that macro discussion too. I had one person explain it to me like this: “If it has too much flavor it forces me to think. I just want a really cold beer flavored water that has alcohol in it.” So, if that’s what they want, I’m glad they found it! To each his own. It’s not for me, but It has a place and hundreds of thousands of Americans have jobs because of our huge macro breweries and for that I will always be grateful.

  6. Seriously, simply amazing. Why can’t we be neighbors?! And I am with you on your beer snob sentiments. Let’s just all love everyone and everything! πŸ™‚

    1. I don’t think I would be able to fit into my skinny jeans if we where neighbors! Plus, when are we going to be in the same town so we can get together for a drink already πŸ™‚

  7. I love the beer snob comments. The Mac n Cheese looks awesome. As far as Stone, my family and I drove down from Fresno for Pour it Black. The Dark Side was yummy.

  8. I hate snobbery! People always assume I’m a food snob and then I order deep fried oreos at the fair and they’re like “I thought you were a FOOD PERSON” and I’m like “have you tried these?”

    If you like something, you like it. And that makes it good! End of story.

    This mac and cheese sounds over the top delicious.

  9. I suddenly find myself wishing I had the ingredients to make this. (I am woefully out of any beer that isn’t Pumpkin beer or Rogue Dead Guy Ale, all bacon and most cheese. I need to go grocery shopping but attempting to stretch until I really need to.)

    This looks AMAZING and will definitely be made as soon as I have the ingredients. Maybe even for Friendsgiving. (Like Thanksgiving, but with friends!)

  10. I loved the Killers then, and I love them now.
    And, I won’t be waiting til thanksgiving to make this. This weekend? Possibly!

  11. The recipe looks great! Would you mind clarifying does the beer, egg and sour cream mixture also have the butter in it? If not at what point do you add it if it is added at a different time?

    Thanks for the blog. I really enjoy reading it!


  12. Oh my! I am so happy that I stumbled upon your blog! My husband just loves beer and this will be such a fun way for us to spend time together! I can see us enjoying beer and making your recipes together.

  13. This was VERY good. Used my favorite IPA (for the time being lol), Lakefront IPA. Nice and hoppy but not bitter on the palate.

    Took this to a friends house for dinner and everybody wanted MORE! I used the Dreamfields pasta (low digestible carbs), greek yogurt, and turkey bacon to make it a tad healthier. Also threw in a little blue cheese for some stank.

    LOVE <3 …and will be making again!

  14. The no-fat sour cream suggestion cracked me up! What with bacon, cheese, and beer, it’d be like getting sweet&lo in your coffee with a side of cheesecake. Seriously, if no-fat sour cream was an option, I’d rather take a short walk after dinner. We made this with Anchorage Brewing’s Love Buzz Saison (good luck finding it outside Alaska). If you can get any of Gabe Fletcher’s brews, do not hesitate. They’re all triple fermented, and I’ve cooked with several of them. Really like your site, keep up the inspiring work.

  15. Hello Jackie,

    I stumbled upon your blog last night during a sleepless night and I can’t stop reading! There is so much creativity and inspiration to be found here and you truly are amazing for doing what you do. I work at a brewery in the Southern California area and also homebrew and have been starting to slowly finding ways to use my plethora of craft and home beer stocking up in my fridge, besides giving it away to all my friends and family. This is exactly what myself and my girlfriend have been looking for. We now have an amazing place to get inspiration to find new ways to exploit our love of beer and food!

    Thank you Jackie, keep up the amazing work.

    All for beer and beer for all,
    Jason S.

  16. Made this tonight and it was a huge hit! My college kids loved it and we will definitely make again. Next time I will try a little stronger beer and a sharp cheddar.

  17. Jackie, your blog rocks.
    I made the avocado risotto a couple of weeks ago and i’m going to try the chicken sliders and mac n cheese this weekend. My only question is in refernce to the cheese. Any specific recommendations (sharpness)? What do you think about gruyere?

    1. Thank you Brad! I think it really depends on preference. If you use a really high IBU IPA, I’d stick with a more mild white cheddar, but if you use a mild witbier then you can use a sharper cheese.

  18. I love that Sam Adams commercial when those beer snob hipsters are raving about the beer they’ve tasted and find out it’s Sam Adams.

    1. Yes, that should work fine. The majority of the alcohol in the beer will cook off, but if you are worried at all, using an NA beer should be fine.

  19. I made this last night and used Leinenkugle’s Oktoberfest beer…it was AMAZING! Served it with a Caesar salad and my fiancΓ© loved it! I will definitely be trying more of your recipes! Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

  20. Wow! I stumbled across your blog searching for a bacon mac and cheese recipe to use up some leftover bacon. (Don’t judge, its a long story) This looks fantastic, thank you! I’m definitely going to make this for dinner tonight with a nice wheat beer I have on hand. My hubby and I love craft beers and good food, so cooking with good beer just makes sense. Had I known of your blog sooner I’d be doing it a lot more often. YUM! I have never encountered a beer snob like you describe and I hope I never do. As my husband and I often laughing quote to one another, good “beer is good…and stuff” πŸ˜‰ Wide distribution means the micro-brewers get more income (win) to continue experimenting making more nifty beers (win) and I can find yummy beer to enjoy in many of the places we travel on business (win). What’s not to love about that?

  21. i made this tonight. very, very good. my family’s mac and cheese recipe is a baked version, but i just had to make this. i, didn’t get by the beer store for a nice craft beer for this one though. all i had was a new castle bombshell. i’ve never had this beer before and was worried about cooking with it, but i must say, with this commercial beer, the mac and cheese was still amazing. i look forward to making this again with the added flavor of a good craft beer. thanks so much for sharing your amazing recipes with us. i love to cook and whenever i can i like to add beer. this website is an inspiration. thanks!!!!

  22. This is super delicious! I made it with an alt-style beer and used pepper bacon πŸ™‚ it didn’t thicken like I wanted, so I just used a little wondra and it wad great. Thanks Jackie!

  23. I’m carb sensitive, but when I get a Mac & cheese craving, this gas become my go to recipe. I’ve done it a half dozen times, but tonight’s was the winner.
    I used quinoa elbows, Sam Adams Irish Red and an extra sharp Wisconsin cheddar. The great fun of this recipe, like most of Jackie’s, is playing with your beer pantry. The final touch of spices is perfect, so don’t forget them!

    Thanks, Jackie, for another great addition to my recipe repertoire!

  24. I am not a beer snob, I am a beer lover! I will happily drink my Miller Lt, or Busch out of a camo can with my family, friends, or just because. I am not a huge hops fan, so anything extremely heavy on hops I will pass on, but I do love your recipes and I love trying to pair a great beer with what I cook. I tend to loiter in your Stout/Porter area because those are my favorite. Thanks for creating a BA site!

  25. I would absolutely love to make this, but my boyfriend is allergic to eggs. Any suggestions on alternate sauce thickener? Perhaps some kind of cornstarch slurry?

    1. You can remove the eggs by making a roux. Use the bacon grease and some melted butter in the pot, add some flour and make a paste. Add the milk and beer, simmer (don’t boil), then add the cheese a but at a time.

  26. This is a beautiful method for mac & cheese! Regarding popularity, so long as whatever it is doesn’t change in response to its popularity, I’m with you.

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