Beer-Battered Bests

By: Karen Dybis | August 30, 2019
Beer-Battered Food

Photo Courtesy of TAP.

Michigan is known for its craft beer and classic brews such as Stroh’s, all of which are smooth, full of flavor and easy to enjoy on a warm summer’s night. But beer-battered food – where beer is incorporated into the batter used to fry everything from Oreos to fish to cheese – takes beer to its next level of deliciousness. 

Everywhere from Detroit to Terry’s Terrace in Harrison Township to Macomb’s quaint village of Romeo (Full disclosure: I grew up there and, no, I didn’t really know Kid Rock) has lots of great beer-battered goodness. Take the Four Corners Diner. It is well known for its onion rings and fried mushrooms, which patrons say are made from scratch and will fill any stomach to capacity. 

“When I’m craving beer-battered shrimp, I call in to The Captain’s Table in Pontiac,” said Charlie Wollborg, head of Curve creative agency and one of the brains behind Detroit’s TEDx event. “No frills. Absolutely delicious.”

What should you look for in a beer-battered food? The chef should know how to cook it hot and fast. The batter should be thick and flavorful. And the sky’s the limit on what you can throw in that batter. The alcohol inside the beer is cooked off, so it is a great flavor for any age. 

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Here is a roundup of some of the tastiest beer-battered goodies – sweet and savory – that are available in Metro Detroit.

  • TAP: This sports-themed pub inside MGM Grand Detroit has a classic menu for anyone looking for hearty dishes. One favorite is the Michigan beer-battered fish-n-chips, which comes with French fries, coleslaw and a special red pepper tartar sauce. 
  • One Eyed Betty’s: Check out the starters menu at this Ferndale favorite and you’ll find “Looney Schrooms,” or beer-battered button mushrooms. These little delights are accompanied by a sauce made by combining cream cheese, dried cherries, goat cheese and fresh herbs. 
  • Ale Mary’s: Take the tip to Royal Oak to check out the appetizer menu at this great bar and pub. It has fried McClure’s Pickles, a dish that uses the local favorite spicy brined cucumber served with a chipotle aioli sauce. Another one to check out is the beer-battered cheese curds served with a smoky tomato chutney. 
  • Common Pub: This Detroit favorite has a great menu full of serious and silly names for its inspired dishes. Look under “Orca,” and you’ll find its beer-battered haddock, served with a house slaw and remoulade on a sensational brioche bun. 
  • Republica: Berkley diners know where to find creative and fresh at this tasty little eatery. Websites such as Eater Detroit recommend its beer-battered cod served with fries and a house-made tartar sauce.