Beer Batter Breakfast

Midas Touch

Brewery: Dogfish Head
Pancakes: No
Type: Ancient Ale
Syrup: Yes

Dogfish Head is one of those breweries that I probably don’t give enough credit to. This is probably due to how popular they are, but also might be because they’re known for their IPAs, which I’m known for not liking. Midas Touch is one of those beers that defies convention, though, so in true BBB fashion, I knew I had to make pancakes of it.

Grape beer?!
Grape beer?!

When I say “defies convention”, I’m not kidding. Midas Touch is, as its marketed by Dogfish Head, an “Ancient Ale”. As the story goes, residue found on 2700 year old vessels from the tomb of King Midas was analyzed, and these were the ingredients they found: barley, honey, saffron, and papaya/melon. From this, they tried to recreate the same composition in beer form, giving us Midas Touch. It pours a light blonde with virtually no head, and my particular bottle was approximately a year old (so a fresh one might look/taste/behave differently). The sweetness of the honey and the barley flavor profile come through first, and there’s a subtlety to the finish that took me awhile to place: it’s almost like a champagne or mead on the tail end.

Prep/Cooking

Looks harmess enough...
Looks harmess enough...

What is a really interesting and complex flavor profile in the beer all but vanishes in batter. This isn’t all that rare, unfortunately - delicate flavors usually just don’t stand up to batter. Midas is no different. It had a thin, light consistency, which almost lead me to add more mix, but in the end I decided against it. The batter did have a slight dry grape finish to it like the beer did, but without the other flavors in support/contrast, it wasn’t very enjoyable.

Results

Ancient Pancakes...?
Ancient Pancakes...?

2700 years in the making, the first thing I noticed was a slight honey aroma, like in a mead. It didn’t smell like honey, but as a mead drinker, I recognized it almost immediately. The sweetness and mild herby flavors from the saffron and barley were completely nonexistant, yet that dry grape, champagne/white wine-esque finish was still there. Overall, I was pretty disappointed.

The Decision

  • Pancakes: No. Midas Touch isn’t the rarest beer out there, but considering it’s interesting and delightful in liquid form, making pancakes out of this would be a disservice to the beer.
  • Syrup: Yes. That being said, adding syrup certainly improved things. The flavors were all richer overall, and adding syrup brought back a strong honey flavor (whaddayaknow). Still not great, but certainly better.
Such a disappointment
Such a disappointment