This soup was amazing! I made a number of adjustments based on personal taste and previous comments. The soup turned out phenomenal! It is soooo good and just what I was hoping for from a cheddar ale soup.
-added 1 shallot and 2 cloves of garlic to the chopped onion
-added a little crushed red pepper to the onion mix while it cooked
-used an excellently flavorful beer (Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale)
-used fresh red potatoes instead of frozen precooked
-used all beef broth instead of veg broth and water
-mashed to a lumpy texture
-used half & half instead of milk
-used excellent cheeses (7 oz block of dubliner, 8 0z block of aged extra sharp cheddar)
-at the end added 3 splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
Clearly, this is not the healthiest version now, but it is maybe the best cheddar ale soup I've ever had! No joke. Absolutely fantastic.