Dry the pickle slices on a clean kitchen towel, making sure to dry each side. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine all purpose flour, baking powder, dark beer, pinch of salt, and 2 Tablespoons of water. The batter should be thick but pourable, like waffle batter. If it's too thick, add an additional Tablespoon of water. Set the beer batter aside.
Put out two dinner plates. On one plate, sprinkle cornstarch. On the second plate, combine panko bread crumbs, paprika, cayenne pepper, and another pinch of salt.
Now it's time to bread the pickles. Make an assembly line on your counter with pickles, then cornstarch, then beer batter, and then panko mixture. If you're air frying, put the air fryer basket at the end of the assembly line. If you're frying them, put an additional plate for battered pickles.
One pickle at a time, put the pickle slice in cornstarch on each side. Tap to remove excess cornstarch. This will make it easier for the batter to stick to the slice. Then dip the slice in beer batter, making sure to evenly coat it. Allow the slice to drip off any excess batter before continuing to the panko. Dredge the slice in the panko mixture, fully covering it.
If air frying: Put the slice into the air fryer. Continue with all of the dill pickle slices, making sure that they are in a single even layer in the air fryer basket. Give a spritz with spray oil. Air fry for 8 minutes at 360 degrees, stopping once halfway through to flip all of the slices and give another spritz of oil. After 8 minutes, check that they are the desired amount of toasty brown. If needed, air fry for an additional minute.
If frying in skillet: Continue battering all of the dill pickle slices, and put each breaded slice on the final plate. Cover the skillet in a thin layer of organic canola oil. Bring to a medium high heat. Test the oil is hot enough by dropping a few panko crumbs into the oil. If the oil immediately bubbles around it, it's ready to go. Put the breaded dill pickle slices into the oil. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to work in batches. You don't want to overcrowd, or else they won't brown properly. Fry for 3 minutes on one side, flip all of the pickle slices, and fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until they are toasty brown. Move to a towel-covered plate to drain.
Serve with vegan ranch dressing.