Easy Beer Steamed Shrimp Recipe

Shrimp cocktail
This dish can be served with cocktail sauce. Smneedham/Getty Images
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 0 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (6)

Easy, delicious, and... beer! What more could you want when it comes to making a shrimp dinner? The Beer Steamed Shrimp recipe is a fun way to change up your shellfish routine.

The recipe is very simple and will take just around 20 minutes from start to finish. The shrimp are not actually cooked in beer but are steamed over a boiling pot of beer to add a subtle and sweet hoppy-citrus flavor that is unique and delicious and will change with every new beer you try.

Because the shrimp are not cooked in the beer, the recipe can easily be adapted to create as many servings as you need; just add or reduce the number of shrimp that go into the steaming basket. For an entree, the average serving is about 7-10 medium shrimp per person.

When ready to serve, decide whether you would like the shrimp warm or cold. They can be served on their own with a side of cocktail sauce or melted butter for a delicious appetizer or over a bed of pasta or a side of rice for an entree. Either way, these shrimp are fantastic.

What You'll Need

  • 2 pounds medium raw shrimp (in the shell)
  • 1 12-ounce beer
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice​
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1 sprig rosemary

How to Make It

  1. Add beer, lemon juice and salt to a large saucepan or stewpot.
  2. Add your steamer basket, making sure that it sits well above the beer.
  3. Add the celery and shrimp to the basket and cover.
  4. Bring the beer to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cook until the all of the shrimp turn pink. The top ones tend to change color first so make sure to move them around and check that all have turned.
  6. Serve warm or cold as they are or with cocktail sauce or melted butter.

    If you prefer your shrimp chilled, create an ice bath. Simply fill a large bowl with ice and water then dump the cooked shrimp on top until they cool down.

    Choosing the Right Beer

    The most crucial decision in this recipe is which beer to use. There are many styles of beer to choose from and each will add different flavors to the steam. Which you choose will depend greatly on personal preference though here are some good points to consider.

    • Shrimp have a very delicate flavor and should always be treated with care.
    • Lagers tend to be lighter than ales and may be your best choice for creating a dish that appeals to the majority of people. Lagers may also be better with the hint of citrus in the steam pot and are generally preferred for food pairing.
    • If you do want the full flavor of an ale, try experimenting with some of the lighter styles. The malty flavor of an English pale ale would be an excellent place to begin. A fruity wheat ale like Oberon is also a great match.
    • Quality is key. Even though this is just a steam pot, the quality of beer you choose is going to have a big effect on the finished meal. Shrimp is not cheap and your beer should not be either. Besides, if you pick up a six-pack of beer and one goes in the pot, then that leaves you with five to enjoy while cooking and eating. It’s a win-win!