The key to a light batter is combining the right amount of flour and cornstarch. If you add too little cornstarch, the batter will be thick and cakey; too much and the batter will absorb too much oil and become soggy.
Adapted from “Welcome to Michael’s” by Michael McCarty.
Put enough oil in a deep-fat fryer to fill the fryer by at least three-quarters. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to 375 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
While the oil is heating, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the ale, mixing just until the batter is smooth. If the batter seems too thick, think with a little seltzer.
When the oil reaches the desired temperature, working one piece at a time, use tongs to dip the shrimp carefully into the batter, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. Carefully drop the shrimp into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, 2-3 minutes, taking care to work in batches as necessary so you don’t overcrowd the fryer.
As they are done, use a wire skimmer or slotted metal spoon to remove the shrimp to a paper towel-lined platter. Serve hot, with Aioli or Ponzu Sauce.