An amber or ‘red’ beer is best for this recipe; it gives a depth of flavor without being too overpowering.

Serves 4


  • 1 bottle beer (amber, preferably flat)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pounds crab claws, crab legs, or whole crabs


  1. In a large covered stockpot, bring the beer, sugar, seafood seasoning, vinegar, and spices to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the crabs and stir well.
  3. Cover and steam 5-7 minutes (10-15 for raw crabs), stirring well a few times.
  4. Remove crabs and serve hot, sprinkled with a little extra seafood seasoning, if desired.