The setting for The Suite Spot, Kelleys Island, is a real place. Summer visitors tour the island by bike, camp at the state park, swim on rocky beach, and kayak along the shoreline. Beloved attractions include Glacial Grooves, where ancient receding glaciers gouged deep scars in the island, and Inscription Rock, a
limestone slab carved with indigenous drawings and petroglyphs. But the biggest attraction might be the perch sandwiches at The Village Pump. Breaded, deep-fried, and served on a soft bun with tartar sauce, yellow perch is the quintessential summer sandwich, not only on Kelleys Island but all along Lake Erie's southern shore.
Most northern Ohio locals have their favorite perch restaurants and those who are lucky enough to have fishermen in the family also have their favorite breading techniques. Some dip their fillets in store-bought batter, others dredge them in breadcrumbs, but many will tell you that the best coating is made with crushed saltine crackers. Regardless of the method, most will agree that Lake Erie has the best perch. Sorry, other Great Lakes.
Mason is the brewmaster of his own brewery on Kelleys Island, so he'd definitely have an opinion on which kind of beer pairs best with a perch sandwich, but there's no doubt that perch and beer go together. I'd recommend a lager, like Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, or blonde ale, like Twin Oast Old Ohio. Then find yourself a park bench by the lake, where you can eat, drink, and read The Suite Spot.