8 of the Finest Beers to Enhance a Delicious Crab Boil

Are you ready for a delicious summery seafood feast? A crab boil is an exceptional way to share a dish with friends and family that is sure to delight.

But in order to truly get the most out of your crab boil, it’s important to pair it with the perfect beer. In this post, we’ll take a look at the best beers to enjoy with your next summer seafood feast and discuss why they're such a great fit. So let's get boiling and enjoy the perfect brew with your crab boil.

1. Pilsner

Pilsner is an outstanding option for a beer to accompany a crab boil because its crisp and light flavor will help cut through the spiciness of the dish. The light hoppiness of a pilsner beer helps to provide an invigorating spark to the rich flavors of the boiled crab, and its low to moderate alcohol content keeps the overall dish from being overwhelmingly intense. Additionally, the light and clean finish of a pilsner helps to cleanse the palate to make room for the next bite.

Pilsner can also be used as an accompaniment to other dishes such as crab cakes or fish tacos as its light flavor matches well with seafood dishes. This makes it a great option for those looking to enjoy a beer pairing with their meal.

2. Pale Ale

Pale ale is an exquisite option for crab boil because it pairs excellently with seafood dishes due to its slightly hoppy flavor and light caramel notes. Pale ale also provides a complexity of flavor that can really help to enhance the flavor of the crab boil and bring out any additional spices or herbs that may have been added to the dish.

The beer also helps to cut through some of the richness of the butter used in the boil, and is an outstanding way to balance out the flavors of the dish. Additionally, the light and refreshing taste of pale ale makes it a great choice of beverage to accompany a summer crab boil.

3. Lager

Lager beer is an outstanding choice for a crab boil due to its crisp and light flavor that helps to bring out the taste of the crab without overpowering it. Lager also helps to cut through the rich buttery flavor of melted butter that is often drizzled over boiled crab.

The light, refreshing taste of lager complements the sharpness and tartness of other components of the crab boil, providing a balanced and flavorful experience. In addition, lager helps to add a subtle carbonation that works to blend all the flavors together. Finally, lager is easy to find, making it a magnificent choice for a crab boil that allows for flexibility and convenience.

4. Belgian White Ale

Moving on, I wanted to suggest Belgian White Ale. Belgian White Ale is a superb option for crab boil because of its light, refreshing flavor and low-hopped profile. This style of beer is characterized by its low- to medium-alcoholic content, which allows it to pair exceptionally well with a variety of seafood and shellfish dishes.

The crisp and slightly tart flavor of Belgian White Ale helps to cut through the salty and spiciness of a traditional crab boil, creating the perfect balance of flavors. Furthermore, the light and effervescent body of a Belgian White Ale makes it a cooling and enjoyable choice for any seafood meal.

5. Saison

I couldn't write this article without mentioning Saison. Saison is an ideal beer for crab boil because of its light, refreshing flavor. The subtle maltiness, spicy yeast, and subtle hints of fruit in Saison can work beautifully with the spicy, salty flavors of a traditional crab boil.

The crisp finish of the beer can be the perfect complement to the richness of the crab boil, providing a counterpoint and balance to the flavors. Additionally, the lower alcohol content of Saison beer can really help to keep the overall crab boil or seafood boil taste lighter, while still providing dynamic flavor.

6. Cream Ale

Cream Ale is an ideal choice for a beer to enjoy with crab boil due to its light and crisp flavor. The full-bodied flavor of a cream ale is often described as malty and slightly sweet, making it an excellent complement for seafood dishes like crab boils that can contain spicy and savory elements.

The slightly sweet profile of a cream ale is also a nice counterbalance to the sometimes spicy or acidic elements of a crab boil. The maltiness of cream ale helps balance out the bold notes of crab boil seasonings. Cream Ale is often a favorite accompaniment to classic boiled seafood dishes.

7. Wheat Beer

Wheat beer is an ideal beer for crab boil because it has a light and crisp flavor that perfectly complements the spiciness and sweetness of the boiled crab. The complex, slightly sweet and sour character of wheat beer helps to enhance the flavors of the crab and cut through the heavy spices.

The slightly cloudy texture of the wheat beer adds a refreshing feeling to the dish. Wheat beer also pairs exceptionally well with mustard, garlic, and onion, which are common ingredients in crab boil. Moreover, the carbonation of wheat beer helps to cleanse the palate between bites of crab, allowing you to enjoy the unique flavors of each bite.

8. IPA

And finally, we have IPA. IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a superb choice for a beer to pair with a crab boil due to its bold, hoppy flavor and slightly bitter finish. The bright, citrusy notes of an IPA will help to enhance the flavors of the crab, while the bitterness can provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the seafood and other ingredients in the boil.

Additionally, the crisp and clean finish of an IPA is well-suited to seafood pairings, as it can really help to refresh and cleanse the palate so that you can enjoy each bite of the crab. Furthermore, the hoppiness of an IPA can also add a distinctive depth of flavor and complexity to the crab boil, making the experience even more enjoyable.

Why Do You Steam Crabs with Beer?

Steaming crabs with beer is a popular cooking method that adds flavor to the crabs and helps to keep them moist while they cook. The beer adds a subtle, hoppy flavor to the crabs and helps to create a steamy environment inside the pot, which helps to cook the crabs evenly and keep them tender. Some people also add other ingredients, such as Old Bay seasoning, garlic, and lemon, to the pot to give the crabs additional flavor.

To steam crabs with beer, you will need a large pot with a steaming basket or rack, some live crabs, and a can or bottle of beer. Simply fill the pot with enough water to cover the bottom of the steaming basket, add the crabs and any other desired ingredients, and bring the water to a boil. Then, place the steaming basket in the pot, add the beer, and cover the pot with a lid. Steam the crabs for about 20-30 minutes, or until they turn bright red and are fully cooked.

Closing Thoughts

No matter what type of beer you choose to pair with your crab boil feast, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy it with good friends. After all, that is what beer and seafood are really all about – time spent with those we love. So next time you fire up the grill or boil a pot of crab, pull out a refreshing and delicious beer that pairs well with the seafood you’ve prepared and dig in! Cheers!