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The holidays are over. Winter has truly set in. And when the days of endless cold and gray have gotten to me, this is the dish we make to bring warmth and comfort — mac ‘n cheese. But this is Booze Bites, so you know we had to step it up.

In this series, reporter Felicia LaLomia takes you through how to cook with booze. And, of course, she will be trying lots of it along the way.

The base of this recipe is the delicious beer cheese made with North Fork Brewing Company’s Dark Side of the Maple. The porter gives a delicious, deep flavor to the cheese sauce, and then the dish is topped with bacon and more cheese. Is there a better combination out there?


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 pound pasta of choice, undercooked by 2 minutes
  • 1 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour. Cook for two to three minutes until the flour is a light golden color. Slowly whisk in the milk and then the beer. Add the cheese and cook for 10 minutes until thickened. Stir in the spices and remove from heat.
  3. Mix the cheese sauce with the prepared pasta in a 9 by 13 inch pan. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese, bacon and bread crumbs on top. Bake for 20 minutes and then let rest for 5 minutes.