The History of Beer Cheese
“Snappy Cheese,” is what Kentucky refers to as Beer Cheese. Originally made near the confluence of the Kentucky River and Howard's Creek, now known as Lower Howard's Creek, in Clark County, Kentucky over 85 years ago. It is indigenous to the Central Kentucky area called Boonesborough. Made by the head Chef of Turf Catering Joe Allman in the late 1930's for his cousin Johnny Allman to give to his patrons at his restaurant on the Kentucky River. When patrons sat down at the bar or table at The Driftwood Inn or later at Allman's on the River they were greeted with a small plate that had a container of "Snappy Beer Cheese" served with carrots, radishes, celery and crackers. The waiter/waitress would take their drink order. The sharp cheddar cheese with a cayenne finish created thirst. So by the time the drinks came the patrons would typically order a pitcher of what they were drinking. Drinks have the most profit margin for the restaurant, much like today.
After the restaurant burned down for the third time, it was never rebuilt. By that time a restaurant across the road that faces the Kentucky River, called Hall's on the River and sits on Howard's Creek, had made their version of Beer Cheese. The tradition continued for a while. In the 1980's the Hall's decided to sell their recipe and the rights to their name to J. Peterman, he then turned to a company in Louisville, Kentucky which bought those rights and name from him. That company put Hall's on the River Beer Cheese on the retail market, but used a completely different recipe under the label. For 25 years it was sold throughout Kentucky in Kroger. That Louisville company went out of business in December 2011.
People who knew what Real Beer Cheese tasted like knew this was not Hall's original recipe. Those that had worked at Allman's and Hall's had been around the beer cheese making process, and as a result several companies around the Central Kentucky Area now make and distribute their versions of Beer Cheese.
The original beer cheese recipes' heritage was preserved, protected and passed down through our family who has kept it alive for decades. The Authentic Beer Cheese is now under the name Howard's Creek Authentic Beer Cheese. Since its come back in 2006, it has remained a winner of awards throughout Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, North and South Carolina.
There is a difference in many of the beer cheeses on the market today.
Variations can consist of processed cheese food and cream cheese mixed with a variety of ingredients including Worcestershire Sauce, Mustard Powder, Anchovies which were never intended to be in the Authentic “Snappy Cheese.”
Howard's Creek Authentic Beer Cheese consists of REAL Dairy ingredients, beer, spices and garlic. It does not have a strong beer influence. Its creamy spicy taste peaks out in heat and flavor after a few days and has only ONE heat. It's not too mild, it's not too hot, it's just right. We make beer cheese in small 20 lb batches. It's an Artisan cheese, Kentucky Proud, Certified by the REAL Seal Dairy Association and Lab Tested R5< 5PPM Gluten Free. Anything else, is NOT Authentic Beer Cheese.