Cooking With Sour Beer: Shrimp Salad in a Jar

From fresh catch to fridge favorite, this bright and flavorful warm-weather dish is a perfect foil for the refreshingly tart beer—your choice—with which it’s made.

Christopher Cina Sep 19, 2021 - 3 min read

Cooking With Sour Beer: Shrimp Salad in a Jar Primary Image

Photo by Christopher Cina

Before the cooler months fully take over, here is a recipe that preserves the spirit of summer, perfect for those unseasonably warm days best enjoyed before they’re gone. Pair liberally with whatever tart beer you choose to use an an ingredient, or try a few of our suggestions.

Shrimp Salad in a Jar

Serves: 6

½ lb (227 g) shrimp (about 21–25 shrimp), cooked and halved lengthwise
1 Fresno chile, seeded, sliced in 1/8" (3 mm) circles
1 cup (237 ml) red onion, 1/8" (3 mm) julienne
½ cup (118 ml) cucumber, half moons, 1/8" (3 mm)
½ cup (118 ml) fennel, 1/8" (3 mm) julienne
1 avocado, diced, ¼" (6 mm)
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 Tbs lime juice, fresh
2 Tbs orange juice, fresh
¼ cup (59 ml) sour beer
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
6 fennel fronds, for garnish
Tortilla chips

Combine all the ingredients except the fennel fronds and tortilla chips in a bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Gently portion 1 cup (237 ml) of the salad into each of six 8 oz (237 ml) Mason jars. Top each with a fennel frond. Place the lid on top of the jar and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Serve cold with tortilla chips for scooping.

Beer Tasting Notes: While the beer doesn’t do the heavy lifting of pickling in this salad, sour beer adds a nice acidic complement to the lime juice. A gueuze will give it a rustic feel with a bit of blue cheese–like funk and complex citrus; a Berliner-style weisse will add bright lemony notes and simple acidity; a mixed-culture sour saison may add a touch of funk and pepper. Generally speaking, sour beers without fruit will better complement the shrimp, but lighter stone fruit–based sour beers with peach or apricot (or even cucumber) can also work well.

Beer Suggestions: Burial The Separation of Light and Darkness (Asheville, North Carolina), The Referend Berliner Messe (Pennington, New Jersey), 10 Barrel Cucumber Crush (Bend, Oregon), Urban South Lime Cucumber Gose (New Orleans, Louisiana), 3 Fonteinen Cuvée Armand & Gaston (Lot, Belgium), Gueuzerie Tilquin Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l’Ancienne (Rebecq, Belgium).