Beer Batter Breakfast

Back 40

Brewery: New Glarus
Pancakes: Yes
Type: Wisconsin Bock
Syrup: No

Somehow I’m pretty sure I’ve yet to cover a New Glarus beer. Maybe it’s my subconscious disgust for Spotted Cow (and its fanatical followers), or maybe I’ve just had pretty much all of their beers before and don’t bother to seek it out anymore. Either way, after a party this past weekend, I found myself with a handful of individual bottles, and the Iconic New Glarus Brewing Company’s Back 40 Bock was in the midst.

Iconic. Right...?
Iconic. Right...?

The Back 40 Bock is a “Wisconsin Bock”, having pretty much all of the characteristics of a traditional Bock (though a little light on ABV). The flavor is a wonderful mixture of sweetness and light malts with a crisp, bread-like aroma and a medium-to-dark brown color. Let’s see how that all holds up in pancake form.

Prep/Cooking

Where'd the color go...?
Where'd the color go...?

While the beer pours a decent brown with a lighter head, that color all but disappears when it comes to batter. Bocks are traditionally fairly flat/uncarbonated, and this beer is no different. The foam died off quickly when coming into contact with the batter. In terms of flavor, the batter was delightfully sweet, with an almost cake-like flavor to it. The aroma seemed to back off about as much as the color did, but there’s still a hint of sweetness there as well.

Results

That one on top is looking a little sad :(
That one on top is looking a little sad :(

As the first Bock I’ve ever made beer pancakes with, and the first New Glarus beer I’ve made pancakes with, I wasn’t sure what to expect here. The beer is highly drinkable with decently full flavor (though I’m not sure how well the sweetness would hold up after a few in a row), but the pancakes I felt really stood out. The sweetness of the beer fell away almost completely, the malty flavors came back from batter-purgatory, and the pancakes maintained some of the wheat-like characteristics we’ve seen in some of the other wonderful wheat beer pancakes we’ve made in the past.

The Decision

  • Pancakes: Yes. Surpringly good, actually. Maybe even better than the beer.
  • Syrup: No. I’ve seen time and time again that syrup doesn’t do much one way or the other for pancakes. This case is unfortunately no different.
Syrup does nothing for it once again
Syrup does nothing for it once again