What Is the Best Beer for Beer Battered Chicken?

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Everyone enjoys wonderfully crispy, golden brown fried chicken, and even more so when that delightful crunch comes from a beer batter. But, in order to attain that delectable perfection, you can’t simply use any old beer from the fridge. So, which beer is best for beer battered chicken?

Lagers, pale ales, and amber ales are the finest beers for chicken batter since they are light in color and taste. The color of the liquid impacts the color of the finished batter, and only the basic tastes of the beer remain after frying.

Let’s look at what makes those three beers the best for making a beer batter for chicken and why the others won’t work.

What Kind of Beer Is Best for Battered Chicken?

Choosing the right beer is critical if you want your fried chicken to be visually appealing. Not only that, but the sort of beer impacts the taste of the chicken, and no one wants to spend time preparing their chicken when the beer will dominate the flavors.

While you may be tempted to open that last lonely bottle in your fridge, it may not be the greatest option. Darker beers, such as strong and porter, may turn your chicken pieces black and burned. Meanwhile, beers with a strong flavor, such as an IPA or a sour, may taste strange.

If you want to play it safe and delicious with your beer batter, try these three options.


When it comes to drinking, a great, pale lager is always a safe bet; the same goes for cooking. Choose ones that are fairly gold; if you can’t see through the opposite side of a clear glass with beer in it, it’s too dark. Stick to American lagers or German pilsners for this.

Even better, lagers are often affordable and widely available. If you simply want an airy, crispy batter with no frills, any cheap beer will suffice. If you decide to drink the remainder, don’t expect to appreciate what you’re drinking.

Pale Ale

Pale ales are somewhat darker than lagers, closer to a light amber hue than the gold of lagers, but not dark enough to interfere with what you’re cooking. This is also the point at which you begin to discover a universe of tastes, ranging from citrus and fruity notes to pine-like flavor and everything in between.

However, while selecting a pale ale for your batter, use caution. Pale ales can be fairly bitter, particularly if you go all the way to the Double IPA end. Keep your tastes grounded, and don’t be fooled by fancy descriptions of flavor notes; most of them will perish when fried.

Amber Ale

Amber ales are redder in color than pale ales and are the darkest choice you have before the batter begins altering the look of the chicken. Amber ales, on the other hand, have a more robust malt character, with a toffee or caramel flavor and a touch of citrus. The same malt taste should work nicely as a somewhat sweet batter to offset any salinity.

When choosing an amber brew, make sure the flavor notes don’t overpower the malt. Otherwise, your batter may be too sweet to go with chicken. However, if you cover the fried chicken with a sweet or spicy sauce, that would be a nice idea.

What Beer to Buy for Battered Chicken?

There are several beer brands available, ranging from well-known worldwide names to local artisan brewers. Nonetheless, we’ve gathered a short list of brands to assist you in making the ideal beer batter. This is not a full list, but it will help you understand what to look for in shops.

Old Milwaukee

Old Milwaukee is definitely not the nicest beer to drink, but it makes a terrific beer batter. It’s well-carbonated and has a light straw hue that won’t clash with the color of the fried chicken. It also has a subtle maize taste that will not interfere with your seasoning.


Budweiser is unrivaled in terms of relevance and accessibility. This beer can be found almost anyplace, which is convenient when you need to prepare a batter. Its golden hue will not make your chicken seem scorched and its flavor will not interfere with your recipe. If you’re fortunate, a touch of citrus will show through in the batter.

You may also choose Bud Light, which has a lighter taste than its full-bodied equivalent.

Modelo Especial

This Mexican beer is refreshing on a hot summer day and makes a wonderful batter. Its hops, grainy, and malty taste is light enough not to overshadow yet crisp enough to offer a background for the completed result. The faint honey scent of Modelo should provide for a pleasant encounter.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

It’s simple to understand why this is Sierra Nevada’s most popular brew. When you taste it, it is brilliant golden with pronounced aromas of caramel and hops. As a batter, it should be a gorgeous golden brown with just a touch of grain and citrus for flavor.

Brewdog Planet Pale Ale

Don’t be fooled by the pale golden appearance of Brewdog Planet Pale Ale; it has a richer taste than lagers of the same color. Enjoy the grapefruit taste that complements the batter, with just the proper amount of carbonation to guarantee you bite into something airy and crunchy.

Samuel Smith Organic Pale Ale

Although the color of this light ale is closer to copper, it is clear enough not to interfere with the color of your fried chicken. Drinkers appreciate this beer’s robust malt tastes with tiny traces of oaky overtones, so anticipate some sweet, woody undertones on the batter of your fried chicken. Its carbonation is also light enough to prevent your bird from developing a too thick coat.

North Coast Brewing Co Red Seal Ale

Red Seal Ale is often served with grilled meats such as steaks, so why not incorporate it in your batter? It has a brilliant reddish amber tint, thus a delicate touch is required to create the desired color for your completed project. Nonetheless, Red Seal Ale’s robust malt and hops taste with a touch of fruits and herbs will complement your fried chicken.

New Belgium Flat Tire Amber Ale

New Belgium’s Flat Tire is one of the clearest amber ales on the market, so it should go well with your batter. It has a sweet, caramel-like malt flavor that, if not handled correctly, might make your batter sweeter than normal. However, with its adequate carbonation, that shouldn’t be an issue; it shouldn’t take long to produce the ideal batter with this lager.

Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Tregs Nugget Nectar is aptly described as nectar because to its rich citrus tastes that will remind you of apricot, peach, and grapefruit. It will not affect the color of your batter since it flows like a vivid copper amber. Some drinkers claim it has a flavor of bitter pine and hope, but not enough to dominate whatever spice combination you choose for the chicken.

Bonus: Pabst Blue Ribbon

When choosing a beer for your batter, cheap alternatives are always fantastic, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t include Pabst Blue Ribbon on our list.

Listen to us out before you raise your pitchforks. If you want an almost flavorless batter, PBR is the beer to use. When you drink it, it already has a faint grain flavor, which fades after it is heated. However, the ample carbonation results in a fantastic puff for the batter.

What could possibly go wrong with such a cheap price and neutral profile?

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