How to make green chile beer cheese spread from Cultivate Kitchen |

How to make green chile beer cheese spread from Cultivate Kitchen

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Cultivate Kitchen’s green chile beer cheese spread, top right, is plated with a jalapeno Bavarian pretzel as well as the restaurant’s two house-made dipping sauces: a yogurt-based smoky cilantro lime sauce, left, and a spicy beer mustard made with Angry James Brewing Co.’s Jake’s Pils, right.
Shane Morris/Cultivate Kitchen

‘Tis the season for pretzels, cheese and beer. Many brewpubs may have their own version of the dish, but the offering from Cultivate Kitchen brings the heat while keeping things cool. The cold, green chile beer cheese spread is made with the Citra Lager from Angry James Brewing Co. — the Silverthorne brewery that shares the kitchen’s physical address.

A pseudo food truck located inside of Angry James, Cultivate Kitchen joined the brewery roughly six months after opening. Co-owner and chef J.J. Morris, a bartender at the brewery at the time, took advantage of the opportunity to bring Cultivate from her partner’s home in Destin, Florida, to the High Country.

The restaurant specializes in health-focused foods such as beet sliders, caprese paninis and watermelon salad. Morris said they initially struggled to create a hot cheese dish that was unprocessed, but they were able to workshop a recipe during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were kind of just messing around with different ideas with our time off while it was slow and stuff, and we finally found that beer cheese recipe that we thought was delicious and worked,” she said. The spread joined the menu when they reopened roughly 1 1/2 years ago.

The Citra Lager was chosen because of the flavor profile from the titular hops used in the brew.

“It has kind of, as the name says, bright, citrusy notes that I think go well to kind of lighten the cheese up a little bit,” Morris said. She also found it to be a bolder beer than some of the brewery’s other options.

“We make our mustard with the Pilsner which is nice, but that’s definitely more of a subtle flavor in the beer,” Morris said. “It doesn’t really affect the mustard too much. But we wanted the beer that we chose to stand out in the recipe.”

One tip Morris has for home chefs replicating the spread in their own kitchens is to think of the spread similar to cold pimento cheese, but a creamier version that isn’t as chunky. While Cultivate doesn’t make the beer spread far in advance, she added that the flavors could improve as it sits in the fridge a day or so before eating.

Naturally, Morris said the food should be paired with the same lager so people can understand the relationship between the two. And though it is served cold with pretzels, Morris said it would be a delicious addition to warm bread, a cheese plate or even a spread on a sandwich.

Green chile beer cheese spread

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 5 ounces Angry James Brewing Co. Citra Lager
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 3 tablespoons roasted green chiles (canned, frozen or fresh)


Place all ingredients except for green chiles in a food processor. Blend until all of the ingredients combine. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, and you may need to pulse a few times to get it moving. Add green chiles and pulse until mixed in with the spread but still chunky.

Jefferson Geiger

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