Drink Warehouse UK Blogs

Published on June 6th, 2024. 

Get ready to tackle this recipe that’s batter than the rest!

Perfect beer-battered fish this National Fish and Chip Day

On June 7th, National Fish and Chip Day beckons, inviting you to explore a special beer-battered fish recipe. Beer’s unique properties transform the batter: saturated with CO2, it creates bubbles when submerged in hot oil, expanding the batter for a delicate, lace-like crispness. Additionally, the alcohol in beer evaporates faster than water, shortening cooking time and minimizing the risk of overcooking. This allows chefs to craft the classic crunch of beer batter with ease.

Tips Before You Start


Sustainable Swap – Cod, a beloved choice for fish and chips in the UK, is primarily wild-caught due to low levels in UK waters. However, hake has emerged as a sustainable alternative, boasting a similar texture to cod. Swapping hake for cod in recipes is effortless, as they share a comparable weight and texture.


The Beer Matters – save the crafts beers for sipping and instead opt for a brown ale such as Newcastle Brown Ale, or a stout like Guinness. NBA will yield a batter with a touch of caramel sweetness without a bitter aftertaste. Guinness will produce a darker batter with a slight chocolatey, malty sweetness with possible coffee notes.


Let Batter Drip Off – As much as possible, in fact, before frying. If there’s too much batter, the finished fish will be overly greasy.


Fish Sinks in Oil – If the batter sticks to the bottom, resist the urge to scrape it immediately. Wait for the full cooking time; the batter should loose easily once it’s browned.

Beer Battered Fish – serves 6



  • 340ml (12 ounces) pale ale or other light beer
  • 360 grams flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp sea salt, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 570 grams fresh hake, cut into 2.5 centimetre-thick strips
  • 700-950 ml canola oil or vegetable oil, for frying
  • Malt vinegar, for serving (optional)



  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the beer, 180 grams of the flour, baking powder, and 1½ teaspoons of the salt until smooth. The batter consistency should resemble slightly runnier than pancake batter. Set aside.
  2. In a pie plate or shallow bowl, combine the remaining 180 grams of flour, cayenne, garlic powder, and 2 teaspoons of salt until well incorporated.
  3. Season the hake with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
  4. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of a large pot. Heat the oil in the pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 175°C, ensuring it’s about 7.5 cm deep.
  5. Working with one piece at a time, dip the hake into the flour mixture, then into the batter, allowing excess to drip off. Carefully add the hake to the hot oil, frying 2 to 3 pieces at a time, turning halfway, until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining fish, allowing the oil to return to 175°C (350°F) between batches.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with tartar sauce and malt vinegar on the side, if desired.

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