Rustic Bavarian obatzda garnished with radishes and served with beer and pretzels

Obatzda recipe: German beer cheese dip

Michelle Ryan

Contributing writer

A visit to Germany isn’t complete without enjoying beer in a traditional beer hall or Biergarten, particularly if you’re in Bavaria. One of the best Bavarian snacks to go along with massive amounts of beer is a pretzel, and the best thing to eat with that pretzel is Obatzda.

Obatzda is a Bavarian cheese spread, usually made with a mix of camembert or brie cheese and butter. It’s rich and creamy and pairs well with a giant Bavarian pretzel, of course, but it also goes well with hearty rye bread.

Trust me; you’ll want to make a vat of this traditional German snack. It’s delicious and always a big hit at Oktoberfest parties.

Although it comes together pretty quickly, it’s best if the Obatzda has at least several hours to chill in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to develop, even better if it’s left overnight.

Obatzda with beer and pretzels


  • 60g onion (about ¼ of a medium yellow or white onion)
  • 4g garlic (about two cloves, chopped)
  • 450g Brie or Camembert cheese (rind removed)
  • 170g butter softened to room temperature
  • 170g cream cheese
  • ½ tsp caraway seed plus extra for garnish (crushed)
  • ½ tsp – 1 tsp sweet paprika plus extra for garnish
  • 1 German beer (you’ll only need 2 tbsp, the rest is to drink)
  • Salt and pepper to taste – If you use salted butter, you’ll need less salt

Special equipment

  • Food processor
  • Mortar and pestle or a spice grinder
  • Cheese slicer – not necessary, but certainly handy.


  1. 1
    Cut onion into large pieces, add to your food processor, and pulse several times for a fine dice. Remove from the food processor, drain off liquid, and set aside.
  2. 2
    Remove the rind from the brie or camembert. I found a cheese slicer works beautifully for this, but you can also use a knife.
  3. 3
    Cut the brie, butter, and cream cheese into pieces and add to the food processor. Depending on the size of your food processor, you might have to do this (and the next steps) in batches so that it fits. Just mix the batches well once they’re finished.
  4. 4
    Add chopped garlic to the processor. Pulse the processor until combined, adding beer a tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy without being liquid. Drink the remaining beer.
  5. 5
    Add crushed caraway, paprika, salt, and pepper, and pulse until combined.
  6. 6
    Add the fine diced onion to the mixture in the processor and only pulse a couple of times until combined. (You don’t want to pulverize the onion.) You may not need all of the onion. You can adjust the amount of onion you use based on your preference and taste.
  7. 7
    Remove the Obatzda mixture from the food processor, place it in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. It’s best to chill for several hours before serving; overnight is best.
  8. 8
    Add a dusting of paprika and a sprinkle of caraway to garnish. Serve with rye bread or pretzels, some sliced radish or pickles, and, of course, beer.

Share this article

Michelle Ryan

Author - Michelle Ryan

Michelle Ryan is a travel professional, sommelier, and entrepreneur. She has a love of food and wine and seeks out culinary traditions wherever she may be. Her company, DMR Travel, specializes in European travel and helps independent travelers explore at a slow pace with a focus on drinking customs and gastronomy.

Last Updated 2 October 2022

Looking down from Neuschwanstein Castle at the view of mountains and lakes


Germany is a country in the heart of Europe, which is rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. Wander through narrow streets, explore fairytale castles, go for a hike in the Alps or take a boat trip down the Danube - one of Europe's most scenic waterways.