Summer Cooking with Beer

ClambakeSummer is here, and in New England that means it’s time for beer and seafood. We recently teamed up with New England cuisine expert and Food Network Star Chef Michele Ragussis on a Summer Ale-infused clambake – a combination of lobsters, clams, sausage and fresh vegetables boiled in Summer Ale for added layers of flavor, ready to cook at home or beachside.

Chef Michele Ragussis, a New England native, is known for her love of seafood and has long used craft beer, both as a pairing and as an ingredient, to enhance the flavor of the dishes she creates. A few weeks ago, we met at the brewery to chat about how to make the raw components of beer shine in cooking. Michele found that the ingredients of Summer Ale, like lemon peel and Grains of Paradise, a cardamom-like pepper from Africa, were the perfect addition to her favorite clambake recipes.

I really enjoyed working with Michele on these delicious seafood recipes using Summer Ale. But, not only is this brew great to cook with, it is also the perfect pairing to enjoy alongside this traditional seafood feast; the buttery lobster meat, sweet clams and spicy sausage in Michele’s clambake are a great complement to the beer’s crisp wheat character and citrusy aromas. While the fruit and citrus character from the lemon peel, Noble hops and ale yeast in Summer Ale create a lively kick and bright, clean finish to the pairing.

Michele designed the recipe so that it’s easy to make in any kitchen. It all fits in one pot. If you want to try it for yourself, our partner, Robinson’s Prime Reserve (our go-to artisanal meat and seafood resource), is making recreating the dish at home simpler than ever with the Samuel Adams Summer Ale Urban Clambake package.  Check it out here:


Samuel Adams® Summer Ale Urban Clambake:

Recipe by Food Network Star’s Chef Michele Ragussis

Yields 6-8 servings


  • 4 lobsters (1 lb. each)
  • 5 lbs. steamers
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 12 small potatoes
  • 1 lb. Portuguese sausage (or chorizo)
  • 1 lb. hot dogs
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 bottles of Samuel Adams Summer Ale
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Rockweed seaweed (optional)

Urban Clambake 3

  1. Method:
  2. Before beginning, make sure all clams are scrubbed clean.
  3. On the stove top, in a big pot, layer quartered onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, 2 ½ bottles of Samuel Adams Summer Ale and small potatoes.
  4. Cut the Portuguese sausage into 1-inch thick pieces, and cut the hot dogs in half, lengthwise.
  5. Add the meat and the cleaned clams to the pot. Add the lobsters, and cover tightly.  Let cook for 15 to 20 minutes until done.
  6. Layer on a platter, and save the remaining liquid for dipping. Serve with lemon wedges, and pair with a Samuel Adams Summer Ale.


NOTE: Ask your fishmonger for purged steamers as they have been cleaned already. Also, you can get the seaweed from your fishmonger. Just add a layer of seaweed after the potatoes (optional).

See more summer recipes by visiting our Food & Beer section on!