This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure.

Obatzda combines rich camembert cheese with cream cheese, butter, a few spices, savory onion, and a splash of German beer for a cheese dip that’s completely irresistible.

obatzda as part of german brotzeit

The autumnal German celebration in Munich known as Oktoberfest is right around the corner! This year it runs from September 16 through October 3.

I don’t know about you, but I always envisioned Oktoberfest as a rowdy event with food, drink (namely, German beer!), and music. But it isn’t just a beer party!

I recently found out that Oktoberfest is a traditional folk festival, and is actually family-friendly. And chugging beer isn’t even allowed! (You can read more about how to drink beer properly at Oktoberfest on Thirsty Swagman.)

Also, did you know that Oktoberfest was originally started as a wedding celebration? That’s right, the first Oktoberfest on October 12, 1810 celebrated the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. (You can learn more about the history of Oktoberfest on Britannica.)

What better way to celebrate Oktoberfest than with German beer cheese dip, right?!

hand dipping pretzel into bavarian beer cheese dip

What is Obatzda?

Obatzda is a German beer cheese dip or spread from the Bavarian region of Germany.

It typically contains camembert cheese, butter, beer, a few spices (including paprika), and savory onion. The end result is a rich and creamy cheese dip with a sharp savory flavor, and a signature orange hue thanks to paprika.

This delicious beer cheese spread is a classic dish included at German beer gardens (aka biergarten) as part of brotzeit.

Brotzeit, meaning “bread time”, is typically served as an appetizer or snack between meals. It is essentially the German version of a charcuterie board!

german beer cheese spread with radishes and pretzels

It’s common to find the following items served as part of brotzeit:

  • Bread
  • Pretzels
  • Meat, which is commonly sliced ham and/or sausage
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Fresh radishes
  • Fresh onions
  • Pickles
  • A variety of cheese, including Obatzda

My Trip to Bavaria to Set the Scene for Obatzda

In August 2019, I briefly visited Germany after my summer in Paris. Of course, Neuschwanstein Castle was on the agenda! This castle (or schloss in German) is located in the region of Bavaria in the foothills of the Alps in southern Germany.

the view next to neuschwanstein castle
To give you an idea of how picturesque this area is, here is the road next to Castle Neuschwanstein. The architecture and landscape are absolutely gorgeous!

You might know Schloss Neuschwanstein as “the real life Cinderella castle”. This fairy tale castle was the inspiration for the Disney Cinderella castle at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, as well as the castle at Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort.

schloss neuschwanstein
Schloss Neuschwanstein

And did you know there’s another castle right next to Neuschwanstein?! It’s called Schloss Hohenschwangau. From 1832 to 1836, crown prince Maximillan of Bavaria had this castle built from the ruins of Schloss Schwanstein. You can read more about this castle on Neuschwanstein Tickets.

Schloss Hohenschwangau in germany
Schloss Hohenschwangau

We worked up an appetite looking at those magnificent castles, so we went to an outdoor cafe in the nearby Bavarian town of Füssen.

view from outdoor cafe in fussen
This was our view of this charming Bavarian town from the outdoor café. The weather had turned a bit stormy and it started to rain, but the location was still beautiful.

What better snack to have in Bavaria mid-afternoon than brotzeit, right?! Here’s the brotzeit that we ordered at an outdoor café in Füssen.

german brotzeit in bavarian cafe

Authentic Obatzda Recipe

At first glance, Obatzda might sound like an odd combination of flavors. However, creamy Camembert, rich butter, just the right touch of spices, and savory piquant onion pair beautifully. German beer dip is addictive, lol!

My favorite way to eat Obatzda is as a dip with fresh radish slices or hard pretzels.

obatzda next to pretzels and rye bread

Ingredients in German Beer Cheese Dip

ingredients for obatzda german beer cheese dip

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

  • Camembert cheese – or you can use brie instead; make sure it’s at room temperature
  • Cream cheese – I’ve seen other mild-flavored spreadable cheeses (such as Laughing Cow) used to make German beer cheese
  • Unsalted butter – make sure it’s at room temperature so it combines well with the cheeses
  • Wheat beer – German wheat beer (Hefeweizen) is traditional in this recipe, but you can also use wheat ale, such as Blue Moon or Samuel Adams Summer Ale; or you can use non-alcoholic beer, or omit the beer entirely
  • Sweet Hungarian paprika – paprika gives Obatzda its classic orange color
  • Hot paprika – or cayenne pepper; this adds a touch of spicy heat to balance the flavors
  • Salt and black pepper – to season this cheese dip
  • Caraway seeds – this is a classic seasoning in German cuisine in general, and it’s often included in Obatzda; you can omit the caraway seeds if you don’t have them on hand, or double the amount if you really like their flavor
  • Chives and red onion – these ingredients add savory onion flavor and a pleasantly sharp bite to balance out the creamy buttery cheese

How to Make Obatzda

how to make obatzda

Storage

You can store this beer cheese dip covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. Note that the longer it sits, the more pronounced the onion flavor will be and it can start to turn bitter after a while.

After refrigerating for about 8 hours, the texture will change to a thicker, scoop-able consistency. This is my favorite time to eat it!

front view of brotzeit platter with obatzda

Obatzda Recipe FAQs

What Type of Beer is Best in Obatzda?

To make Obatzda, t’s traditional to use German wheat beer (Hefeweizen), such as Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. If you can’t find this, you can substitute with a wheat ale, such as Blue Moon or Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

If you prefer, you can use non-alcoholic beer or just omit it.

What Type of Cheese Can I Use Instead of Camembert?

Camembert is a creamy, soft-ripened cheese that’s similar to brie.

If you can’t find camembert, you can use other bloomy soft-ripened cheeses, such as brie, Brillat-Savarin, Saint-André, or Reblochon.

german beer cheese spread on bread time board

More Cheesy Appetizers to Make

close up of german obatzda beer cheese in bowl topped with red onion and chives

Let’s Connect

an edible mosaic submark initials

Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media.

To stay up-to-date, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Obatzda Recipe (German Beer Cheese Dip)

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Other Time15 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Obatzda combines rich camembert cheese with cream cheese, butter, a few spices, savory onion, and a splash of German beer for a cheese dip that's completely irresistible.

Email This Recipe

Get this recipe link emailed straight to your inbox!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients
 

  • 8 ounce camembert cheese or brie cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons good-quality unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons wheat beer see Notes
  • 1/2 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds lightly ground or crushed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives divided into 2 1/2 tablespoons + 1/2 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion

Optional Serving Suggestions:

  • Pretzels
  • Hearty bread slices such as rye, pumpernickel, and/or sourdough
  • Cornichons or pickles
  • Radishes sliced
  • Red onion thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • Add the camembert or brie to a medium bowl. Use a fork to break up the rind into small pieces and mash the cheese. Mix in the cream cheese and butter with a fork. Mix in the beer, sweet paprika, hot paprika, black pepper, caraway seeds, and salt.
  • Cover the bowl and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons chives and the red onion.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon chives. Serve along with pretzels or anything else you like.

Video

Notes

  • Food Processor: I don’t like to use the food processor here because I like the cheese to have a little bit of texture and not be completely pureed.
  • Wheat Beer: It’s traditional to use German wheat beer (Hefeweizen), such as Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, to make Obatzda. If you can’t find this, you can substitute with a wheat ale, such as Blue Moon or Samuel Adams Summer Ale.
  • Storage: You can store this beer cheese dip covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. Note that the longer it sits, the more pronounced the onion flavor will be and it can start to turn bitter after a while. After refrigerating for about 8 hours, the texture will change to a thicker, scoop-able consistency.
  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 2 cups of beer cheese dip, or 8 (1/4-cup) servings.
  • Nutrition Information: The nutritional information for this recipe was calculated without the optional serving suggestions.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 981IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Bavarian Beer Cheese, German Beer Cheese, German Beer Cheese Dip, German Beer Cheese Spread, Obatzda, Obatzda Recipe

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

obatzda recipe pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Similar Posts