Gluten and Dairy Free Beer Battered Fish

I can remember the day I was in the doctors office with my husband and they told him he had celiac disease. For 35 years he had eaten what he wanted. We traveled all over the United States from Chicago, to New Orleans, to New York. We spent weeks in Australia along the Great Ocean Road eating fresh fish, good beer (go Victoria Bitter), and sampling the abundant bakeries. We even moved to Scotland for and lived in downtown Edinburgh, next to a French bakery, a fresh fruit market, and a Fish and Chips shop. Our daughter was even born there.

Why am I painting this picture? Because, in all of our travels and adventures, we learned to love good food, and most of the dishes we fell in love with were NOT gluten free.

So sitting there in the doctor’s office, and later at home, we did what everyone with a fresh diagnosis does. We made a long list of things we can no longer have. My husband looked forlorn as he started; “No bread, no pizza, no beer, no succulent French pastries, no baklava, no pie, no cake, no pancakes, no fish and chips, no donuts (erk!), no cheeseburgers, no corndogs, no pasta, no nothing.”

By the time he was done with his list, he looked up and we realized that 80% of our current diet was now off limits. The gluten free products we could find at the time were very expensive and what we dubbed “good enough” products. These are products that the manufacturer puts a bare minimum of effort into developing, probably did not eat themselves, and figured they were “good enough” for those “celiac people”. There are a lot of you out there who can remember gluten free bread at $6 per loaf, that was half the size or a real loaf, and tasted like stale packing noodles.

So my husband and I started our gluten free “Bucket List”. We listed all of the things we wanted back, and we resolved to find a way to make them. As we went over the list, my husband kept pushing three things to the top of his list; beer, pizza, and fish and chips.

So with beer at the top of the list my husband went off the deep end and compensated by spending the next several years founding the first gluten free beer company in the US (find it here).   I spent the time working on a really good pizza , and the rest of the list.

So fast forward to today, and with the help of a really good beer, I was able to cross off another item from the list, gluten free beer battered fish and chips. The beer lends a fantastic taste while the bubbles make the resulting batter light and fluffy. This fish is so good, you will swear, you are on the coast of England, eating at your local fish and chips shop. This is not a “good enough” gluten free recipe, it’s a damn good any recipe.

*Note: For those of you that know me, I have a background in nutrition and dietetics. Adding a fried anything recipe to my site was kind of hard, but I want everyone to be able to have everything they used to have first and foremost. Plus my husband asked for this with two dozen roses and some major puppy dog eyes.

Gluten Free Beer Battered Fish

Serves 8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Fish
Dietary Casein Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Easter
By author Melissa Belser


  • 2.25 Pounds raw fish fillets
  • 1 1/2 Cups sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups super fine sweet rice flour (or other gluten free starch)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion flakes
  • 2 Bottles gluten free beer (used Bard's Tale)


Heat is very important for frying.  Poor heat will result in a greasy end product.  Make sure not to omit the step of dusting the fish in flour.  This will help the beer batter adhere to fish. For those of you who don't drink beer, club soda could be an alternative.


Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add beer to dry flour mixture. Hand whisk for about 1 minute, or until batter forms.
Thoroughly dry fish with a towel, pressing slightly to squeeze excess water out of fish. Lightly coat in ultra- fine sweet rice flour. Immerse fish in batter and remove, slightly shaking off excess. Tongs may be helpful for this step. Fry in a pot with at least 3 inches of oil at 350-375 degrees.
Fry for about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a bed of paper towel to remove excess oil.

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