We missed our annual trip to North Carolina with Betsy’s family last year and it has left me completely craving shrimp. We usually go on the beach trip every year and I always try to eat my weight in seafood since it’s so fresh and delicious. Normally, I keep the shrimp steamed, but sometimes I like to change it up with Beer Battered Shrimp!

Sometimes when you get fried shrimp they are coated in a heavy breading and they end up being more breading than shrimp.

Using a beer batter kind of flips the ratio and you end up with this thin, crispy batter coating a tender juicy shrimp. A little Old Bay helps add some seasoning and while you could serve it with cocktail sauce, I like these beer-battered shrimp with just a squirt of lemon!

Beer Battered Shrimp Video

How to Make Beer Batter (like tempura)

Any time I think about frying, I like to think about the texture I’m looking for in my finished fried food. Sometimes you want a thick breading, but for something like seafood I want something thin and crispy that doesn’t hide the food. If it’s done right, you should be able to see the shrimp through the fried batter!

To make my batter even crispier, I like to add a good amount of cornstarch to my batter, which is classic in Asian-style tempura. (If you want a thorough tempura batter walkthrough, this article is pretty good!)

Batter basics - Beer Battered Shrimp.

Add an egg and a beer, of course! Whisk this all together and you are in business.

Adding lager beer to beer batter.
Action shot!

The finished batter should be like a light pancake batter. Let’s move to the shrimp!

What size shrimp work well for this?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to sizes for fried shrimp. I would shy away from the jumbo large shrimp though and stick to the large or extra large shrimp which should get 20-25 shrimp per pound.

For a different texture, you can go with smaller shrimp for a popcorn shrimp variation!

Save the jumbo large shrimp for shrimp cocktails though!

How to prepare the beer-battered Shrimp

I like to use large or extra large shrimp for beer battered shrimp. Add the shrimp to the batter once they are peeled.

Adding shrimp to the beer batter.
Shrimp in the mix.

You know your batter is right if you can pick the shrimp out of the batter and most of the batter drips off the shrimp. This is perfect!

Battered Shrimp ready to fry.

Fry the shrimp in oil at 350˚ F. They will fry quickly and be done and crispy in about four minutes. Try to fry them in batches though or else they will stick together!

Frying shrimp - Beer Battered Shrimp.

When the shrimp come out, hit them with an extra pinch of Old Bay. I love how these turned out!

Shrimp Done - Beer Battered Shrimp

Here’s my test bite so you can see how thin the batter is on the beer-battered shrimp!

Tester bite from finished beer battered shrimp.
Test bite!

Pile these fried beer-battered shrimp high and eat them while they are hot! A wedge of lemon is all you need!


If I’m being honest, fried shrimp aren’t great leftovers. They lose their crispy crust after a night in the fridge and are hard to bring back to life. If you do have some leftover, the best way to reheat them is actually in an air-fryer for a few minutes at 350˚F. Otherwise, you can reheat them in a skillet with a drizzle of oil. Avoid the microwave at all costs!

Beer Battered Shrimp

Beer Battered Shrimp

4.11 from 84 votes
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
A light batter is the key to making perfect fried shrimp! Don’t hide the beautiful shrimp in a thick breading. This beer batter shrimp recipe is light, nicely seasoned, and perfect with a wedge of lemon!



  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old bay
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 12 ounce lager beer
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 quart canola or vegetable oil, for frying


  • Peel your shrimp (or buy them pre-peeled) and dry the shrimp with a few paper towels.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, and Old Bay. Then whisk in egg and beer until the batter is smooth. The batter consistency should be roughly that of pancake batter.
  • Preheat your oil in a deep fryer or in a large pot to 350˚ F.
  • Add shrimp to the batter and coat well.
  • When oil is at temperature, use a fork to take out shrimp and let excess batter drain off. Gently place shrimp in hot oil.
  • Fry the shrimp for about 4 minutes. Work in batches so the shrimp isn’t too crowded.
  • When shrimp are done frying, remove them and let them drain on a few paper towels. Season with a sprinkle of extra Old Bay.
  • Serve beer battered shrimp while warm with lemon wedges.



Serving: 0.25pound | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 1245mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 277IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizers, Snack Time
Cuisine: American

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Here are a few other great Shrimp recipes!