Everyone needs to have more respect for beer batter. It’s not just for sweet fried nothings and fish fries. A little beer in your batter makes the world a little better.
However, not all beers are created equal when it comes to beer batter. The style of beer is important — an IPA for something a little bitter, for example, or a Belgian Tripel for something sweeter — but so is the brand. The perfect beer batter beer will provide carbonation that crisps the fried dough and a slight amount of flavor to add a little extra touch. So, what is the best beer for beer batter? Look no further. Here are the six best beers to dump in your frying recipes.
For Stout Lovers: Guinness
The first thing you’ll notice with a stout-based beer batter is the color. What’s more important is the flavor. Pouring Guinness into your batter adds a slight chocolaty, malty sweetness. Some coffee notes come through as well. Use Guinness to fry white fish, potatoes, and onion rings.
For IPA Lovers: Harpoon IPA
In general, IPAs are not prime beer batter beers. Cooking destroys floral hop flavors, leaving just the bitter notes and, depending on the malt used, sweetness. What is traditionally viewed as a weakness can be considered a strength, though. Use Harpoon IPA — which is bitter, but not too bitter, and malty, but not too malty — to fry potatoes, chicken, and pickles.
For Adjunct Macro Lager Lovers: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Cheap, mass-produced beers are an easy go-to for beer batter. Aside from the cost, cheap lager is also low on the flavor front. The fry will have all of the airiness from the carbonation, yet none of the strong flavors from the beer. Use PBR to fry anything where you want the flavor to shine through.
For Brown Ale Lovers: Newcastle
The English know a thing or two about both their beer batters and their beer. Put your trust in Newcastle for a beer batter that’ll have a touch of caramel sweetness without a bitter aftertaste. Use Newcastle Brown Ale for vegetables, pickles, corn, and Twinkies (yes, Twinkies).
For Belgian Lovers: Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company
Belgians dubbels and tripels are characterized by their sweetness and high-alcohol content. Both shine through in the batter, while the lighter nuances fade away. Golden Monkey will leave a relatively strong boozy, caramel sweet flavor. Use it for onions, Oreos, and chicken wings.
For Sour Lovers: Oarsman Ale from Bell’s Brewery
Traditional sours lack the carbonation to make a good beer batter. Which is a shame because a tiny bit of tart in a fry batter can go so far. Luckily for sour beer lovers, Bell’s Brewery’s Oarsman Ale is both sour and carbonated. It’s widespread, affordable, and just what you need. Use Oarsman Ale for chicken, white fish, and potatoes.