Corks+Forks: Fish and Chips With Local Pale Ale

Keep it fresh and regional with Wallingford dive bar grub and Georgetown slug.

A daylight headache is bound to follow when one often finds themselves face to face with a bottle of wine (or four). A true beverage-fiend knows when you have a fever, the only cure is more alcohol — and its lesser known partner in crime, grease.

A common strategy is to kill the hangover with the same beverage that gave it to you, though wine isn’t always the most delicious juice when you can still feel it swimming in your stomach. There comes a time when beer and grease are your only friends and, thankfully, Seattle is happy to oblige.

The Restaurant: In our seaside city, seafood options range from dainty morsels to rock-solid gut bombs. The Pacific Inn Pub, located on Stone Way near the Fremont-Wallingford line, provides the latter.

This old fisherman’s hangout should be rotting from the ferment of stale beer and remnants of a pre-smoking ban era, but thankfully it is not. The TVs are new, the booths are newly upholstered, pool is free after midnight and all day Sunday, the jukebox is filled with glorious classics (think the best of Bob Seger and/or Warren Zevon) and the food is unexpectedly stellar — and available until the wee hours of the night.

The Dish: Fish and Chips. This classic is easier to screw up than you’d think. Beer batter is the secret and the Pacific Inn Pub is in on it. Think ample fillets of true cod, battered with beer (and love) and chock-full of flavor. The fries are crispy and piping hot when they reach the table, served with garden-fresh slaw, house tartar sauce and a lemon wedge.

The Variety: Pale ale. One of the world’s most widely produced types of beer, the title “pale ale” first appeared in the early 1700s. Styles vary on the brewmaster’s desired amount of hops (the bitter strikes in a beer), though most PAs retain a good balance of sweet malt, fruit and floral qualities. Though most Northwest versions tend to be cleaner and more intensely hopped, they are ultimately warm like a caramel malt.

Why It Works: Generally, the more bitter (or hoppier) a beer is, the heartier its accompanying meal needs to be. Like a fine wine, beer that contains a high amount of hops pairs well with rich dishes — and pale ale goes with these fish and chips like a horse and carriage. The lemon splash and tang from the slaw are a good match for the citrus and savory tones of the beer.

The Recommended Drink Match: Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown Brewing Company. Two words: Seattle staple. In 2002, Roger Bialous and Manny Chao launched their brewery’s flagship beer from the original Rainier Brewery, intending it for “normal people, beer lovers and beer geeks.” Full of Northwest hops, premium barley and Georgetown’s signature brew of yeast, Manny’s Pale Ale starts off rich and malty but finishes on a note of brisk hoppiness. It’s a food-friendly ale, with its own hints of lemon, orange and herbs.

Pacific Inn Pub  |  3501 Stone Way N., Wallingford  |  (206) 547-2967