How to Cook Shrimp in Beer

by Christopher Godwin

The shrimp will turn a bright orange-red color when fully cooked.

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Cooking shrimp in beer is fairly common, particularly as the beer's aroma can enhance the natural flavor of shrimp and keep the meat from drying out during the cooking process. While you can get a similar result by marinating the shrimp in beer overnight and then sautéing the shrimp, boiling the shellfish in beer is a faster method if you don’t have time to marinate the shrimp. Dishes made with shrimp cooked in beer should be served with bottles of the same beer to avoid competing flavors.

Rinse the shrimp under cool, clean water.

Peel the shrimp, removing the head section first; leave the tail intact.

Remove the digestive tract from each shrimp's back with a sharp paring knife, discarding the tracts as you go.

Rinse the shrimp in a colander under cold running water once more before patting them dry with paper towels.

Pour the beer into a large stockpot or saucepan with a tight-fitting top and add the garlic, salt and black pepper. Cover the stockpot or saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.

Add the shrimp to the stockpot or saucepan and cook them for four to five minutes or until they have turned bright pink.

Immediately remove the shrimp from the boiling liquid with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a warmed serving platter or serving bowl.

Garnish the shrimp with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and serve them with melted butter and lemon wedges while warm.


  • For a cold shrimp dish, before serving them, allow the shrimp to cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes after they have cooled enough that you can handle them.

    You can add fresh herbs and spices, like dill, thyme, rosemary and extra garlic, to the beer in the stockpot or saucepan to taste if you wish.


  • "Fish and Shellfish"; James Peterson; 1996
  • "Martha Stewart's Cooking School"; Martha Stewart; 2008

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."