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Our take on a classic beer-battered fish and chips recipe. Using one of our local craft brewery favourites for our beer batter to infuse its light yet defined flavours into the fish with a touch of Old Bay Seasoning served with twice fried french fries for that authentic pub-style crispy on the outside and soft on the inside taste alongside homemade tartar sauce.

I just had a hankering for some pub food. I NEEDED to make something that I would enjoy eating out but was easy enough I could manage to pull off at home. Even though restaurants are open- patio only, or we can opt for delivery its still not the same as going out and really sitting back and enjoying yourself. There’s nothing super crazy about this recipe, but when you do it right, it’s absolutely perfect. The only complicated task is the frying. Of course if you have a deep fryer than theres nothing to it.

Choosing your fish:

We went with haddock simply because Costco sells a large pack. It’s fresh and easy to grab from here for a good deal. Alternatively Cod is also an excellent choice. Both are very similar as in their white and flaky. I think it just depends on where you live and what’s more commonly available. With haddock it tends to cook quickly and is great for most cooking methods. It is a little delicate. When handling be careful as it has a tendency to crumble.

Be sure to purchase fresh fish that’s not frozen for best results. Plan to cook your fish same day or next day.


Dry the fish: Use paper towel to pat dry on both sides. This ensures the batter will stick better by removing moisture.
Soak fries: Rinse and soaking under cold water to help remove some of the starch and makes for crispier fries.
Batter: Let it sit while you continue to prepare the next steps. The carbonation in the beer will activate the cornstarch or baking powder and leaves you with a not too thick or thin airy batter.
Thermometer: temperature is key here. The oil has to be just right so that everything cooks nicely and achieves the right amount of crispiness. This will avoid your fish soaking up too much oil if its not hot enough that results in something soggy. They are not expensive and you can grab one at just about any grocery store. In this recipe we’re frying fries first. worst case drop a few fries in to test the temperature if you don’t have one. After 3 or 4 minutes the fries should still be a bit soft but you should start to see them crisp up in a few spots.


It’s all about the carbonation and other factors that make beer such a perfect ingredient for making delicious and crunchy batter. It makes for a light and airy batter that perfectly crispy and crunchy. Go with your favourite beer or something seasonal. We opted for a Blonde Ale by Whitewater Brewing Company’s- Farmer’s Daughter. This beer specifically has pale malted barley thats infused with hops.

If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and tag us @thecommunalfeast on Instagram. Follow along on Pinterest to see our latest recipes.

We hope you enjoy our take on pub-style classic fish & chips!

pub-style fish and chips

Classic beer battered fish and chips seasoned with our favourite Old Bay seasoning and served with homemade tartar sauce.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Mains
Servings: 6
Author: the communal feast


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tall can beer lager, amber or IPA
  • 6 white fish fillet such as haddock or cod
  • 2 TBS Old Bay seasoning
  • 4-5 large russet potatoes peeled and cut into fries
  • salt
  • oil for frying
  • lemon for serving
  • Tartar sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup gherkins or cornichon finely chopped
  • 2 TBS capers finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS parsley finely chopped
  • pepper to taste


  • Prepare the tartar sauce: combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir together until just combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. You can also combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor for a finer sauce.
  • Wash, peel and cut your potatoes into french fries. In a large bowl filled with cold water and salt let the fries soak and rest for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and transfer to a tray. Pat dry with a towel.
  • In a medium-large bowl, combine flour and cornstarch. Create a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and slowly add the beer. Whisk and continue adding the beer until the batter is smooth and reaches a semi-thick consistency. Using paper towel pat dry the fish fillets and season on both sides with salt and Old Bay. Dredge into the batter covering both sides of the fish. Place on baking tray until ready to fry.
  • For frying: Heat oil in a deep heavy skillet such as dutch oven or deep fryer. Allow the temperature to reach 315-330 degrees F. Use a thermometer for this. Carefully drop the fries in the hot oil about 1 cup at a time and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or use a good pair of tongs and place in a large bowl. Repeat until all the potatoes have been fried once. (for oven baked fries see notes)
  • For the fish: Increase the temperature of the oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully place fish fillet in the hot oil (you can do up to 2 depending on the size of the pot). Cook until golden on both sides. About 5 minutes total. Flip halfway for an even golden colour on both sides. Let rest on wire rack or tray with paper towel.
  • Once all the fish have cooked, finished cooking the fries. This is the second round of cooking the fries which will give them that delicious crispiness and deeper golden colour. Cook fries for 3-4 minutes. Return to the bowl and season with salt and some optional Old Bay.
  • Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.


Baked fries: Prepare french fries according to step 2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place on large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, pinch of salt and Old Bay. Spread the fries in an even layer. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan. If needed divide between 2 baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes then flip and cook an additional 10 minutes or more until golden and crispy.
Storing and reheating: Can keep refrigerated for leftovers the following day. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Reheat fish and fries on baking sheet for 10 minutes.

pub-style fish and chips


July 9, 2020


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