Beer Batter Breakfast

From Buffalo, With Love

New year, new blog post. It turns out it's kind of hard to keep up a blog about beer pancakes when you've adapted a new low-carb diet, hence the 3 month hiatus. Luckily, I'm pretty sure I've got a good handle on it now, so I'm willing to get back into this. I also might be recruiting the help of a friend and fellow beer lover (more on that to come), so keep an eye on this blog for updates in the coming week(s).

The recent holidays gave me the opportunity to go back home to Buffalo, spend some time with friends, and recollect and refocus. Taking the train to/from also allowed me to bring liquids back and forth. What does that mean? That means some Old Sugar craft spirits and Great Dane beer for the family back in Buffalo, and some of the wonderful Pearl Street Brewery beer for Madison. And what do we do with special, craft beer? Make pancakes, of course. (That is, of course, aside from the Growler party I'm planning)

Awwww yeahhhh growlers
The two beers I brought with me are Pearl Street's Don Cherry Cherry Wheat (delicious as always) and a new Coffee Stout of theirs I was unfamiliar with (I wanted to bring their fabled Billy Bonka Chocolate Stout, but they were out :/). Both beers, in beer form, are great. Pearl St's Cherry Wheat is probably my favorite cherry wheat out there. It manages to have that hint of cherry without being too sweet and overpowering the wheat. The coffee stout doesn't quite measure up to their chocolate stout (again, my favorite of its type), but the coffee flavor is subtle and compliments (complements?) the bitterness of the stout. How did they hold up in pancake form, though?


The batter for both beers took their characteristic colors from the beers themselves - the wheat obviously lighter to the stout's rich brown. What surprised me with the batter for these two versus other beers is the degree to which the aromas came through. The cherry wheat actually seemed to have a stronger smell in batter form than in beer form, while the stout certainly kept its characteristic coffee scent.
One of the things I was surprised by was the seeming lack of carbonation in the batter. That may be partially the growler's fault, or it might just be something about Pearl Street's beer. The few sips I had seemed to drink fine, but in batter form we weren't getting much for bubbles, even during the cooking process.
Oh, and of course, when you're making two batters and have a tiny bit left, what do you do with it? Make a frankenpancake. Don't tell me you've never wondered what cherry coffee tastes like...
Frankencake? Pancakekenstine?


Coffee on the right, Cherry on the left, Frankenpancake in the middle bridging the gap
Given the quality of these beers, I shouldn't be surprised, but I'm pretty sure these are the best beer pancakes I've had/made so far. They both retained an incredible amount of flavor while losing just a tiny bit of their beeriness. I think it took my brain a little while to figure out exactly what was going on, because the first pancake of each side didn't seem to have the flavor the latter ones did.
Mmmmmm. Syrupy.

The Ternary Scale:

One of the new things I want to start doing with these reviews is to provide a little bit more guidance without cluttering up my super-simple rating system. So, moving forward, we're going to a ternary scale (0 - don't make them, 1 - make them if you have it, 2 - go out and get some of this stuff). I'm also going to add a binary for syrup or no syrup, and possible for chocolate chips or not. Without further ado...

Don Cherry Cherry Wheat
Pancakes: 2!
Syrup: Yes

Coffee Stout
Pancakes: 2!
Syrup: Yes 

If you're lucky enough to get your hands on Pearl Street's beer, they make for great pancakes. They're just great beers overall. The added sweetness of the syrup only seemed to draw out the cherry flavors more, and just like adding sugar to your coffee, the syrup enhanced the coffee flavors in these pancakes which made it highly enjoyable.
Do you think cherry and coffee flavored pancakes sound good? Do you think it's a waste of craft beer from across the country to make pancakes out of them? Let's hear it!