Beer Boiled Shrimp

Beer Boiled shrimp with lemons and cocktail sauce on white plate

Beer boiled shrimp is something I make for others. Shrimp is kind of the bane of my existence, most seafood really. I can eat salmon only if it’s hidden in a salmon patty. Crab can be covered up in a stuffed mushroom. Crab cakes and fried fish must be covered in lemon juice and tartar sauce.

This recipe is quick, simple and perfect for serving at gatherings. It can be served hot or cold so you can make it while company waits or make it earlier in the day and avoid kitchen detail when guests arrive.

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Beer Boiled Shrimp Ingredient Lineup.

This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients, all easily found at your local grocery store.  Celery, lemons, onions, beer, and Old Bay are ingredients I tend to have on hand. Shrimp, not so much. 

The shrimp for this recipe can be of the frozen variety or “fresh” from the fish/meat department. In parts of the country not blessed with miles of shoreline, that “fresh” shrimp was more than likely frozen and allowed to sit in that glass case. Save the money and buy frozen if that is your case. The only request I have when you make this is use shrimp with the shells still on. Deveined is fine, actually preferred as I hate seeing the little mud veins. These are also easier for guests to peel and you don’t have to watch them fight with mud veins.

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Simmering the beer bath and then letting the shrimp chill out in it takes longer than the actual cooking of the shrimp. You have to be quick with getting these out of the bath or getting the bath cooled down after cooking or you will have some tough shrimp. I wouldn’t know from experience by eating one, but your guests will be quick to let you know you overcooked your shrimp.

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This is where a bowl of ice comes in handy. I drop the ice right into the pan after I turn off the heat.  Just enough to stop the cooking, but not so much it makes the shrimp cold.

I serve these with cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, lots of napkins, and a bowl on the side for discarding shrimp shells.


Beer Boiled Shrimp

Shrimp cooked in a simple, yet delicious, beer bath. Can be served hot or cold.

  • Author: Beth Mueller
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 pounds Shrimp
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood


  • 32 ounces Beer
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 Lemon, cut in half
  • 2 stalks Celery, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 large Onion, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 pounds Shell-on Shrimp
  • 2 cups Ice
  • Additional Old Bay Seasoning, if desired


  1. In a large pot bring beer, water, lemon, celery, onion, and Old Bay to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until celery and onions are limp. 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. Remove celery, onions, and lemon.
  4. Bring liquid back to a boil and add shrimp. Frozen shrimp is fine.
  5. Boil just until shrimp floats.
  6. Immediately turn off heat.
  7. Add 2 cups of ice to shrimp and liquid.
  8. Allow shrimp to steep in water for 15 to 30 minutes.
  9. Remove shrimp from liquid and serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay seasoning if desired. Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, and plenty of napkins.


Any size shrimp can be used, just cook until shrimp float.  Time will vary by size of shrimp.  Frozen shrimp should also just be cooked until they float.


  • Serving Size: 4 ounces meat
  • Calories: 135
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 277 mg
  • Fat: 1.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 239 mg


Other Game Day Recipes to Try:

Beef Salad

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

Flat Burger Sliders 

Italian Beef

Meatball Subs

Sauce Buns and Red Hots

Party Cheese Spread

Shrimp cooked in a simple, yet delicious, beer bath. Can be served hot or cold.

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