Grilled Corn and Crab Salad with Summer Ale Cilantro Vinaigrette


Grilled Corn and Crab Salad with Summer Ale Cilantro Vinaigrette_

I took a conference call yesterday with a research firm that’s spending considerable effort studying the trends of craft beer and food. An honest look at craft beer from an outsider is an interesting pool to swim in. They asked the standard questions, thoughtful and curious, and it almost always turns in the same direction:

“Why craft beer? Why now?”

I can talk about how the locavore spirit and a push towards more thoughtful eating has naturally spilled over into beverages. I can talk about how this new generation of drinkers, those who have come of legal imbibing age in the past five years are those Facebook gernerationists that have grown up in a culture of eco-friendly, culinary aware coolness and craft beer just makes sense to them. But that really isn’t the answer.

Pour the same beverage in a pint glass, but remove the impassioned brewer who’s barley making ends meet but refuses to sacrifice quality, take away the friendly comunal tables, and the tap room jockey that can’t wait to talk about the seasonal release, strip that all away and that pint isn’t the same. Craft beer isn’t just a beverage, it’s a community. It’s a culture that’s grown around a shared fascination of a culinary art, but it’s the culture that’s the big draw. It’s the people. The beer is fantastic, the beer keeps us coming back, but it’s the people that have grown the phenomenon. It’s the fact that craft beer isn’t just something you drink, it’s something you get to live. That’s why beer.


Grilled Corn and Crab Salad with Summer Ale Cilantro Vinaigrette 2

Grilled Corn and Crab Salad with Summer Ale Cilantro Vinaigrette


  • 2 ears of corn, grilled, kernels cut off
  • 6 wt oz lump crab meat
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • for the vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup cilantro, packed
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 3 tbs summer ale
  • 3 tbs olive oil


  1. Put the corn kernels, crab, tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl, set aside.
  2. In a food processor add the cilantro, brown sugar, garlic, salt, lime juice and beer, process until well combined. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, blend until smooth.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss to combine.

Grilled Corn and Crab Salad with Summer Ale Cilantro Vinaigrette 3




10 thoughts on “Grilled Corn and Crab Salad with Summer Ale Cilantro Vinaigrette

  1. Yep. i agree its about the community. community is all these days. we sure need it. Love the recipe. I also love that it uses 2 tablespoons of beer and you can drink the rest

  2. I am right there with you when it comes to community! My hubby has been brewing craft beer for about a year and it has been so incredible to become a part of it. I just love your site (and my hubby does too!!)!

  3. What a refreshing and delicious looking salad. Anything with crab is right up my alley!

    Also – I agree with you about the community aspect of craft beer. It’s more than just drinking. It’s fellowship, fun, and shared interests. Great perspective! 🙂

  4. The community is my favorite part about being a craft beer geek. There are definitely some talented brewers out there!

  5. Preach it sista! My brother started brewing beer 10 years ago because he was tired of drinking “fake beer” as he put it. We loved him for it because we always had a fresh supply of pretty impressive brews. Funny thing is, he had to leave it all behind when he joined the army and was deployed. When he came back years later and found craft beer community exploded he was dumbfounded! Community for sure! This recipe looks amazing just hand the bowl over.

  6. Yes to craft beer & to community! This salad sounds so good for a summer afternoon. I might even mix it up and use seared shrimp in place of the crab sometime.

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