While we highly recommend sourcing Montauk Brewing Co.‘s Driftwood Ale, any English-style pale ale will work for these herb-infused steamed mussles from Eli Sussman. Don’t forget plenty of crusty bread—as anyone who loves mussels will tell you, the best part of enjoying the dish is sopping up the heady, aromatic jus that collects at the bottom of the bowl.

Featured in: “Dispatches from Montauk: Discovering New York’s Easternmost Brewery.”

Mussels with Pale Ale and Spicy Aïoli Mussels with Pale Ale and Spicy Aïoli
The well-balanced malt and hops of pale ale combine with mussel jus, parsley, and tarragon for an aromatic sauce—soak it up with plenty of crusty bread.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 25 minutes


  • ¼ cups mayonnaise
  • 5 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. Spanish paprika (pimentón)
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1½ tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • ½ cups finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cups tarragon leaves
  • Grilled or crusty bread


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the cayenne, paprika, and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. To a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, shallots, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the aromatics soften and begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the ale, bring to a boil, then stir in the mustard and remaining lemon juice and salt. Add the mussels, cover, and cook, undisturbed, until the shells open, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard any mussels that remain shut. Garnish with the parsley and tarragon and serve with grilled or crusty bread for dipping, passing the reserved aïoli on the side.