Celebrate Oktoberfest with Obatzda, a Bavarian Cheese and Beer Spread! Soft, ripe cheese is paired with butter and spices for a flavorful accompaniment to pretzels and bread.
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) or simply omit. Please drink responsibly.
I first tried Obatzda at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany during our honeymoon. I was instantly hooked and ended up ordering it a few more times during the remainder of our time in the city. Obatzda (Obatzder, Obazda) 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.
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.
I combined a mixture of Brie and Camembert, but you can also use simply Camembert (8 ounces total). To get that orange color (and a nice boost of flavor), I mixed in half a tablespoon of sweet paprika. Swap for spicy paprika or a mixture of the two for a bit more heat. Adjust the amount as desired to taste.
Traditionally, all the ingredients are mixed and mashed 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 them easier to combine fully. Due to the addition of the raw onion, this Obatzda is best served the day it is made. To make it last longer (2-3 days refrigerated in an airtight container), prepare the rest of the ingredients and mix in the finely diced onions immediately before serving.
A similar spread called Liptauer can be found in Austria.
Looking for more German recipes?
Obatzda (Bavarian Cheese and Beer Dip) Recipe
Adapted from The Spruce
Obatzda (Bavarian Cheese and Beer Dip)
- 4 ounces Brie cheese room temperature
- 4 ounces Camembert cheese room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 medium onion finely diced
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika sweet, spicy, or a mixture
- 1/4 teaspoon caraway
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons German beer
- Caraway seeds
- Chopped chives
- Thinly sliced radish
- Thinly sliced red onion
- In a large bowl or food processor, combine the Brie, Camembert, cream cheese, 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.