National Fish and Chips Day
How to celebrate this glorious dish? With equally as glorious beer! Happy fryday!
In the U.K, people are very fond and proud of their fish and chips. So much so,. they even started a day to commemorate the glorious dish. National Fish and Chips Day, as it is known falls on the first Friday of June. It started in 2015 to acknowledge the nation's favourite and give it the recognition it deserves! This year it will fall June 5th. And why do we love it at Beerwulf ?! Because fish and chips go exceedingly well with beer.
Now, we know there are regional differences, some people like vinegar, others have gravy. Some people dunk their chips in mushy peas, some sprinkle scraps. Some like cod, plaice or haddock. Don't get us started on the mayonnaise or ketchup debate! Despite all this; there are two constants, two unchanging rules about fish and chips that people across the country come together and agree on. That is, that the chips are always fat, and it tastes better with beer.
The craft beer revolution has done wonders for challenging outdated stereotypes that beer is a less sophisticated pairing than wine. And that's great. However, fish and chips and beer have had a love affair that predates the craft movement, they go way back. Fish, chips and beer is old hat. And for obvious reasons, it's salty, fatty and crispy!
We have a number of suggestions for an idyllic pairing, how best to match the salty, greasiness to perfection. We've even taken into account those of you that like tartare and malt vinegar! That's another rule actually, chips must be soggy with vinegar and paper must be translucent with oil, right ?!
For a quintessentially English staple like fish and chips you might instantly think of an English ale. You're not wrong, the refined bitterness from any English pale ale or bitter will provide a refreshing counterpart to the fattiness from the fried fish and chips. Additionally, the biscuitty malt base connects nicely with the fried batter crust. Amber or red ales will have the same effect, especially if you go for the ones more on the hoppy side. Slight caramel flavors from bitter or brown ales will work especially well if you like tartare sauce (as promised)!
Don't rule out other styles, however. A Belgian Strong Blond ( Duvel ), for example is stronger, but not overly complex in flavor, resulting in a great match when it comes to intensity. The higher levels of carbon dioxide will cut through the fat with a surprisingly refreshing effect. The salty dish will flourish with the fruity notes in the beer.
IPAs will work really well also. Classic English IPAs will have a similar effect as a bitter, it might even work better, as the salt from the dish will let the fruitiness shine. This is a model example of matching intensity of a beer to the dish; these are harmonized to perfection. IPAs that fall towards the American spectrum of the beer style might be a bit overwhelming, their hop flavors tend to be more intense. Play it safe and stay away from the strong Double / Imperial IPAs. BrewDog's Punk IPA is a favorite amongst fish and chips aficionados. It is well-matched because it will not overwhelm your flavors, but will also add a fruity and tropical layer, creating a complex flavor. Most American pale ales will do the job too!
If you fancy being a bit more adventurous, try creating your own beer batter. Adding beer can create extra flavor, and the carbonation will make the batter golden, light and crispy. Lagers work best for this, their delicate flavor will not be too bold or overpowering and the subtle malt and hop flavors will complement the fish. A stout could be interesting. This will add a slight chocolaty, malty sweet profile and maybe coffee notes too. The stout will be delicious for frying fish but also for a veggie alternative, potatoes and onion rings.
We suggest staying clear of very hoppy beers. The hops will isomerise and turn bitter, the aromas also are too fragile to stand up to frying.
As always, fill a case of 16 beers to take advantage of free delivery.
So once you've picked out your beers, you'll need to order in time. You want them delivered and put into the fridge with enough time to chill. Now to celebrate this iconic dish, all you need to do is order from your local chippy or delivery service and enjoy! Long live the nation's favorite!