Beer Steamed Shrimp with Spicy Cocktail Sauce

I never tried peel and eat shrimp until I moved to Maryland right after college. Growing up in Upstate New York, the seafood we ate was usually fried in a beer batter on Friday night or combined with mayo between two slices of bread. Not that either of those are bad:-) We did do our occasional fishing trips and we would eat whatever we caught, but quite honestly I was never a huge fan.

But now you will find seafood in some of my very favorite recipes like this, this and this. I have  a few more to share including two fabulous crab dips so you just wait:-). So anyways, moral of the story – I wasn’t a fan, but now I am a HUGE fan of seafood.

My girls on the other hand can tear up some shrimp. I am always so amazed at their love for any seafood we throw at them. They get giddy when we go to the seafood counter and they point and beg for this or that. I remember one time I took Taylor to the store when she was really small and she stood at the seafood case yelling at the top of her lungs “Shrimp!! Shrimp!! I want Shrimp!!.” They even like Sushi, although they will usually dissect it and then eat the fish and then the rice separately so I’m not completely sure it counts.

I love steamed shrimp and I especially love eating it at the beach…ideally with a cold beer overlooking the water:-)

This cocktail sauce is great and you really will never need to buy your own if you have these ingredients handy. Just make sure you always have some fresh horseradish in the fridge (it does go bad so make sure you check the expiration dates.) The great thing is that you can kick up the heat in the sauce or tone it down if you aren’t feeling so spicy one day. I make a crab dip with this sauce that I will post shortly…it’s wonderful and a bit different than the typical hot crab meat dip (that I will also share at some point.)

We usually buy medium-sized shrimp for this and unless you want to stand there and devein the shrimp yourself (gross) make sure you get it or buy it deveined at the store. I am not really an expert in buying shrimp but do make sure it smells nice and fresh, (not fishy) and has a nice look to it. It is ok to buy frozen shrimp because shrimp goes bad quickly. So if you can get it super fresh, that would be my first choice, if not get something that has been frozen. They thaw real quick.  A lot of times the stuff you see in the seafood case at your store has been frozen.   Those are my tips, but I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert on shrimp (See paragraph #1.)

So if you want a great snack at half-time or any time, you can whip up these shrimp in no time. You will be happy you did!


Beer Steamed Shrimp with Spicy Cocktail Sauce
Jim usually steams the shrimp while I whip up the cocktail sauce. We enjoyed this during an afternoon of football!
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 1 bottle of beer (we used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)
  • 1 lb deveined shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Horseradish
  • 1Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  1. Put Beer and Bay Leaves in the bottom of a pot that has a steamer basket. If you don't have a pot with a steamer basket you can also boil the shrimp right in the beer. Bring to a good simmer.
  2. Sprinkle Old Bay over shrimp and add to the steamer basket or into the simmering beer mixture.
  3. Steam or boil shrimp until they turn pink and become firm. Probably about 6 minutes.
  4. For the Cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients from Ketchup to the Old Bay Seasoning. Combine and enjoy!


  1. I love your recipe, it sounds great.

  2. Hi,

    I am a new follower from the blog hop. Please come follow me back

    Have a WONDERFUL day!

  3. Oh my GOSH, you just made my day. I was planning to look around for a cocktail sauce recipe this week. Thanks!


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