3 beer-based appetizers for a summer party

Published: June 27, 2014 · Updated: June 12, 2017


When you’re throwing a summer party, whether it’s around a bonfire on the beach or on your dock at the cottage, beer always plays a central role. So why not take it to the next level and surprise people with a beer-themed menu? Nothing is more festive than recipes starring everyone’s favourite summer beverage.

To take your next party up a notch, here are three beer-infused appetizers your guests will love.

Beer-steamed mussels

Mussels look and feel fancy, and they add a nice air of elegance to any summer gathering. Luckily, they’re also fresh, simple, and surprisingly easy to prepare. Prepare them with beer, and pass them around with a loaf of crusty bread. 


  • 4 lbs (Mussels)
  • 3 strips of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups beer
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Lime wedges 

Clean mussels and discard any that are damaged or open. 

Cook bacon over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Add butter, onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add red pepper, jalapeno, and thyme and cook for a few more minutes.

Add beer, bring to a boil, stir in mussels and steam for 8-10 minutes. Remove to serving bowls with slotted spoon, discarding any that haven’t opened.

Season broth with salt and pepper, add chopped parsley and pour over mussels. Serve with a wedge of lime. 

Beer and apple slaw

It’s always good to have a cold dish on hand for a party, especially if food is served on-the-go while guests mingle. This slaw will be good for all night snacking—in fact, with beer as the star ingredient, it will taste even better hours later once the flavours have melded. It’s guaranteed to have your guests coming back all night long. 


  • 1 bottle of beer
  • 1 lb Ontario Brussels sprouts, sliced thin
  • 1 honey crisp apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring beer and sugar to boil in a pan and reduce by half. Add half of the cider vinegar and reduce by half again. Cool to room temp.

Combine Brussels sprouts, apples, and thyme in a bowl and toss to combine.

Whisk grainy mustard, reserved cider vinegar and olive oil into cooled beer and season with salt and pepper. Toss with Brussels sprouts, let sit for 20 minutes and toss again to serve.

Beer-marinated beef skewers

You definitely have to fire up the BBQ for a cottage party, and these spicy skewers will satisfy any cravings for red meat. Marinated in beer, they will be tender, juicy, and irresistibly caramelized on the outside.


  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 2 tbsp sriracha or hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 lb beef striploin, cut in 1 inch strips
  • Bamboo skewers, pre-soaked
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the first 9 ingredients, pour them over the beef in a plastic bag or container and refrigerate overnight.

 Season the beef with salt and pepper, thread onto the bamboo skewers and grill on the BBQ (approx. 1 minute on each side).