A six pack of local brews for your next crab feast
Leave the fancy wine pairing for other foods. When you’ve got a pile of steamed, seasoned Chesapeake Bay blue crabs in the middle of the table, you need two things: a roll of paper towels and a cold beer. Time was, Natty Boh would’ve been the go-to choice, but with the craft beer revolution in full swing across the region, there are a lot of great local beers to choose from. With an assist from our local purveyor (Mills Fine Wine & Spirits—thanks Jerry!) we rounded up a six-pack of the best breweries in the watershed and asked them which of their brews they recommended.
Here’s what they said:
Burley Oak Brewing Company
“I’d say our best options for steamed crabs would be our lighter in body and lower ABV beers—simply because you can drink several while not getting full or overindulging on alcohol while adequately cutting that slow creeping Old Bay spice burn.”
RAR Brewing Company
“We always recommend our IPA’s with crabs.
Our main IPA is Nanticoke Nectar. The citrus notes
you get from the hops we use cuts through the spices and cleanses your palate prepping you for the next bite. Insanely refreshing!”
—Chris Brohawn, Co-owner
Flying Dog Brewery
“I can’t think of a better beer on earth for steamed crabs than our Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale. Dead Rise is brewed with Old Bay and is balanced by crisp lemon notes that perfectly compliment picking morning, noon
Senior Director of Communications
Union Craft Brewing
“Our Old Pro Gose is a tart, wheat beer brewed with salt and coriander. The salt and tart are perfectly paired with some Old Bay-covered crabs and the coriander’s lemony aroma and flavor help clear the spice from your tongue and get ready to crack the next one open.”
—Kevin Blodger, Co-founder and Director of Brewing Operations
Norfolk & Virginia Beach, Va.
“With just enough hop flavor to accentuate the Old Bay tingle but a crisp finish to wash away
a buttery backfin, Safety Dance Pilsner is a perfect pairing
for cracking crabs.”
—Porter Hardy, President
DelMarVa Pure Pils
Evolution Craft Brewing
“A supremely session-able Eastern Shore take on a Czech-Style Pilsner. Crisp with delicate malt flavors and a dry finish. The clean crisp flavor won’t overpower the sweetness of the crab or get lost in the spice.”