Celebrate Oktoberfest with Obatzda, a Bavarian Cheese and Beer Spread!
Disclaimer: This recipe uses alcohol that is not cooked off. It is intended only for those over the age of 21 (in the United States). Please drink responsibly.
I first tried Obatzda at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany. I was instantly hooked and ended up ordering it a few more times during the remainder of our time in the city. Obatzda is a Bavarian cheese dip made from Camembert (sometimes paired with Brie or Romadur) and butter. It is seasoned with paprika (sweet, spicy, or a combination), salt, pepper, and beer. Other possible ingredients include onions, cumin, and caraway. For a creamier consistency, cream cheese or quark is often added.
Obatzda was first served by Katharina Eisenreich at the Weihenstephan pub in Freising in the 1920s. It is now a popular appetizer in numerous Biergärten throughout Bavaria. I served mine with pretzels, radishes, red onion, and lettuce. Other accompaniments include an assortment of breads and other vegetables.
More on the history of Obatzda.
Since coming back from Munich, I have tried a few different recipes for Obatzda. I originally shared one from The Galley Gourmet which includes a head of roasted garlic. This one is still Chad’s favorite. I have recently updated the recipe to one that more closely resembles what I enjoyed while in Germany.
Traditionally, all the ingredients are mixed together by hand. I often cheat and use a food processor to get a smoother and more consistent spread. Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature to make it easier to combine fully.
A similar spread called Liptauer can be found in Austria.
Obatzda (Bavarian Cheese and Beer Dip)
Adapted from The Spruce
8 ounces Brie cheese, room temperature
8 ounces Camembert cheese, room temperature
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon paprika, sweet, spicy, or a mixture
1/2 teaspoon caraway
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup German beer
Thinly sliced radish
Thinly sliced red onion
In a large bowl or food processor, combine the Brie, Camembert, and butter. Mix together or process until well combined. Stir or blend in the onion, paprika, caraway, salt, pepper, and beer.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour. Serve sprinkled with caraway seeds and chives and alongside sliced radish, red onion, and lettuce.