Beer-Steamed Shrimp

Beer-Steamed Shrimp

The Spruce / Sabrina Russo

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
204 Calories
2g Fat
6g Carbs
31g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 204
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 286mg 95%
Sodium 1570mg 68%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 135mg 10%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 342mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This beer-steamed shrimp recipe is a fun way to change up your shellfish routine. It's easy, delicious, and it uses beer.

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. This adds 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 easily can 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 entrée, the average serving is about seven to 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 entrée. Either way, these shrimp are fantastic.


  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 sprig rosemary, optional

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 2 pounds medium raw shrimp, in the shell but deveined and rinsed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Beer-Steamed Shrimp ingredients

    The Spruce / Sabrina Russo

  2. Add the beer, lemon juice, salt, and rosemary (if using) to a large saucepan or stewpot.

    beer, lemon juice, salt, and rosemary in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Sabrina Russo

  3. Add your steamer basket to the pot, making sure that it sits well above the beer. Add the celery to the basket and cover.

    celery in a steamer basket in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Sabrina Russo

  4. Bring the beer to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Once a simmer is reached add the cleaned shrimp to the steamer basket.

    shrimp in a steamer basket in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Sabrina Russo

  5. Cover and cook until all of the shrimp turn pink, about 6 minutes. The top ones tend to change color first, so make sure to move them around and check that all have turned pink. Discard celery.

    shrimp in a steamer basket, in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Sabrina Russo

  6. Serve warm or cold as they are or with cocktail sauce or melted butter. As these are served with the shell on, remember to provide a bowl for the shells.

    Beer-Steamed Shrimp on a plate, served with sauce

    The Spruce / Sabrina Russo


If you prefer your cooked 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 although there are some things to be considered.

  • Shrimp have a very delicate flavor and should always be treated with care.
  • Lagers tend to be lighter than ales and might be your best choice for creating a dish that appeals to the majority of people. Lagers can add a 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 also is 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.