Waiter: There’s a shrimp in my beer!

Happy summer everyone! The sun is shining, the beer is flowing, and the grills are hot. Finding new and interesting dishes to bring to a BBQ can be a challenge, so I wanted to share with you a dish I made recently that was a big crowed pleaser and of course, involved beer: Beer boiled shrimp. I adapted my recipe from Beaumont and Morin’sThe Beerbistro Cookbook (which is a really fun book).  Besides a lot of chopping up front, its an easy dish that is hard to screw up, so grab some pale ale and get to work!

Beer Boiled Shrimp 



1/2 cup butter
2 shallots, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 leek, diced (green and white parts only)
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 Tbsp Asian garlic chile paste
1.5 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used large ones)
2 bottles of a good pale ale (I used North Coast Brewing’s Acme Pale Ale. Happens to be what was in my fridge.)
1 loaf of crusty bread to soak up all the saucy goodness

What you need to do

  • Start by chopping all the of veggies. I know, it’s a lot of chopping, but it’s smooth sailing once your done.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute about 4 minutes until they become soft. Be careful not to let your garlic burn. No one likes burnt garlic.
  • Add the leek and red pepper. Continue to statue for another 5 –  7 minutes.
  • Throw in the tomato and garlic chile paste. Let it all cook together for about 3 minutes.
  • Now time for the beer! Open your bottles of pale ale, take a few big sips from each (this is a must or your will be adding too much beer to the pot) and pour the rest in to the pot with the veggies. Stir everything up and let it heat up from 3 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the beer. Stir everything to make sure the shrimp gets covered in the beer. Let it cook until the shrimp are done. The time will depend on how high you have your stove and the size of your shrimp. I think it took mine about 8 minutes to cook. They don’t take long!
  • Once your shrimp is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and fish the shrimp out of the beer boil. I just used a slotted spoon. You will get some of the pepper/tomato mixture as well. It’s OK. Put the shrimp on a plate and set aside for later.
  • Add the pot back to the stove set on high and let the liquid reduce by about 1/3. This will probably take about 15 – 20 minutes. Once it’s reduced, add in 2 Tbsp of butter and stir.
  • If you are going to serve immediately, add the shrimp back to the pot, stir until the shrimp are heated through and serve!
  • If you are making this to serve later in the day or at a different location, turn the heat off after adding the butter, cover the pot and just let it sit (putting in the fridge if you are serving hours later). When you are ready to serve,  just throw the pot on the stove, heat, add the shrimp, then serve. For the BBQ I went to, I just brought the pot with the beer sauce mixture and the bowl of shrimp and finished it up there.

To Serve

The best way to serve this dish is to pour the shrimp and sauce into a big bowl and heat up slices of the crusty bread to go with it. I just put out a big platter with bread on one end and the bowl of shrimp on the other. This is a messy dish, so be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand! It tastes great and is a fun dish to serve that will be sure to impress you friends. Plus, it goes great with a cold beer.


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