When Curt Smith took ownership of the restaurant at Southwind Golf Course, he knew he would have to be able to provide customers with a great beer cheese.
As owner/operater of Sammy’s Bar and Grill at Southwind, Smith is happy to report customers seem more than pleased with his recipe. Sammy’s, named after Smith’s son, officially opened in February, but the beer cheese recipe has been around for 20 years.
The beer cheese will be available to a wider audience in June when Smith participates in the annual Beer Cheese Festival, and will have the opportunity to win the Best Beer Cheese Award in the commercial division. Jim and Donna Crim are previous winners with a recipe they sold while owners of the restaurant at Southwind. Festival attendants will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite beer cheese at the festival June 8-9.
“I haven’t had any complaints about it,”¿Smith said of his beer cheese recipe.
Through his experimentation, Smith has learned a few things about making good beer cheese. For starters, he said, older beers have the best flavor, although his preferred brand is a secret.
His recipe also includes a mixture of cheddar and American cheeses and a mixture of spices, including minced onion, garlic and hot pepper.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,”¿Smith said of the restaurant. “This came open and I thought I’d give it a try.”
His reason for learning to make the cheese is simple: “It’s something I always liked and bought, and thought I’d figure out how to make it myself,” Smith said.
Although he admits his beer cheese is not as well known as some other local brands, he hopes word will start to spread. Business doesn’t depend on good beer cheese, Smith said, “but it helps.”
A few customers have requested the beer cheese on burgers, and Smith said he may add a beer cheese burger to the menu.
The restaurant’s namesake, Sammy Smith, also is a fan of the cheese.
“Sammy loves it,” the elder Smith said.
Sammy's is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 745-1800.
For more information on the Beer Cheese Festival, visit www.beercheesefestival.com.
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Curt Smith, owner/operator of Sammy¿s Bar and Grill at Southwind Golf Course, mixes American and cheddar cheeses and blends other ingredients to make his beer cheese recipe.