Beer and pancakes - a match made in heaven.
Pancake day. It’s part of British culture. The one day a year we all decide that yes, today we need to eat pancakes. In fact, the tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday goes back more than 1,000 years! Originally, it was a way of using up fatty leftovers before lent.
Brits will consume on average 2 pancakes each, which added up is a lot of flippin’ pancakes. We shell use an unbelayvable 52,000,000 eggs, which is 22 million more than any other day. (Stats poached from elsewhere).
But we’re not here to talk pancake stats or make a series of cracking egg puns, we’re here to talk beer.
It won’t be news to you that beer is incredibly versatile, and good old pancake day is a great reminder of just what we can do with it. Whether it’s using beer to make your pancakes, pairing beer with your pancakes or drinking beer to replace your pancakes, we’ve got you sorted.
Using Beer to Cook Pancakes
Some of you may be thinking - beer pancakes, what?! But don’t forget, we all love beer battered fish and chips. Making a batter with a beer is time immemorial.
You may not know this, but there’s a recipe section on the Siren Craft Brew website. Buried deep in there, you’ll find this old recipe for Liquid Mistress Pancakes! What’s Liquid Mistress, some of you may ask? Well, it’s a long since retired flagship beer of ours. In fact, one of our first ever brews here at Siren. Liquid Mistress was a 5.8% Red IPA, and whilst not brewed anymore, still holds a place in many a craft beer heart.
What we do have, however, is JIGGERY POKERY, which at the time of writing is currently spinning around our canning line. This 5.0% Red IPA is full of hops, so brings a lovely fruity character to the process. So for this recipe you’ll need:
330 of Jiggery Pokery (that leaves a bit of the can for yourself!) or an alternative IPA of your choice.
125g of plain flour
1tsp of baking powder
2 ½ tsp of sugar
25g of melted butter
Toppings of your choice - we suggest lashings of maple syrup, or some vanilla ice cream to balance against the bitter nature of the beer.
To make, simply combine all the ingredients listed, as you would with any normal pancake batter mix. Melt some butter in the pan over a medium heat and add a ladle of batter mixture, spreading it out to the edges of the pan. Once the first side is cooked, flip it over.
Pick that one up off the floor, bin it (no 5 second rule here) and try again.
Once you’ve successfully landed a flip, cook until golden and cooked on both sides and serve. Delicious.
Siren S Pancakes
Next, let us tell you how to make one of these awesome pancakes in the shape of the Siren S - squid game eat your heart out. I mean just look how good that looks!
So here's how to do it...
First, you’ll need to get an Adobe subscription and download “Photoshop”.
Next, head over to pixabay.com to get a nice stock image of some pancakes. Import this image into photoshop.
Import the Siren S, and use the distort function to match the perspective of the pancakes.
You’ll need to duplicate your original 'pancake' layer, and flip it over horizontally. Once you've done that, select the Siren S and reveal the layer mask on the flipped pancake layer... Ok, we’ve lost you, right? You don't want to hear about the subtle colour grading, making inner shadows, drop shadows, and lots of subtle masking... I can tell.
This is the extent of our creativity… but we want to see your Siren S Pancakes! If you can do better than us, let us know!
Beer & Pancake Pairings
Whether you’re making some delicious beer pancakes, or going straight up classic pancake mix, it’s all about the pairing. I was raised in a “squeeze of lemon and some sugar” house, but in more recent years have fallen in love with maple syrup. If no one’s looking, I’ll combine maple syrup and chocolate and hazelnut spread - don’t tell anyone.
There’s nothing better than a couple of pancakes, with a glass of cold fresh beer to go with it, so let’s look at the best thing to have in your glass with whatever’s on your pancake.
STRAIGHT UP - NO TOPPINGS
I’m honestly not sure who’s doing this, if anyone, but I’ll address it anyway and tell you to grab a Calypso, or if there’s one in your fridge Castilian Lemon & Honey Cheesecake. Pancakes are delicious, but I think they need a little acidity to cut through and stand up to the savoury batter. The lemon and honey cheesecake is obvious, that lemon and the honey sweetness sets off the pancake perfectly. With Calypso, the sharp sourness cuts through the doughy pancake for a gorgeous balanced flavour.
Ok now we’re talking. Keeping it simple, I like that. For this, I’m going to say Pastel Pils, or whatever good lager you’ve got to hand. Lagers are all about those crisp, clean malt flavours. Pairing that with the sweetness of sugar just sets everything off. Give it a go - simple, sweet, delightful.
JUST LEMON/ORANGE (or with lemon/orange and sugar)
As mentioned, this is my personal go to and this pairing is one I go to every year - hefeweizen or witbier. I have kept White Tips back for this very occasion and it works. We all remember ordering a Blue Moon at some stage and getting that slice of orange in the top. Hefewiezen or Witbier work so well with citrus. Those wheat-y and clove-y esters from the yeast just sing with a bit of acidic citrus.
We heartily recommend Flowers by Queer Brewing, or if you can wait a few weeks to try this out, keep an eye out for our Turning Point Brew Co collab, coming soon!
WITH CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT SPREAD
Go grab a Broken Dream. I’m getting straight to it, I’m not messing around. Let me tell you a story. A few years ago in Poland I had a beer called “Angelico Stout” by Piwne Podziemie. If they ever rebrew it, and you find it, buy it (and buy me some please). It tasted like drinking liquid nutel… err… Chocolate and hazelnut spread.
I came back to Siren and said that we should brew a Chocolate and Hazelnut Broken Dream. 2 years later and about 1000 suggestions from me later, we did it, and it’s awesome. That roasty, chocolate and coffee backbone of Broken Dream that we all know and love works so well with actual chocolate and hazelnut spread. Sometimes, you pair with an opposing flavour, but this one works. It’s ace.
WITH BERRIES OR FRUIT
It’s not everyone’s go-to, but this is a great combo. Especially with some whipped cream but especially with some vanilla ice cream. (Editor’s note - ESPECIALLY with Mascarpone).
At the time of writing, the beer I’m recommending for this is waiting in the wings, getting ready to be packaged this afternoon. But having tried some from tank, let me tell you how Antidawn is going to work perfectly here. Antidawn is our first India Export Porter. What does that mean, you ask? Well, as any craft beer nerd (and we love them, we are them) will tell you, the term IPA (India Pale Ale) comes from when beer had lots of hops added to it, so that it could survive the long journey to India. This porter is no different.
With all those beautiful roasty flavours you know and love from a porter, but loaded with gorgeous, modern, fruity hops. It’s not a million miles away from a black IPA, in that it comes with a rich, dark pour, but tricks the palette with its wash of tropical notes. Berries galore.
Drinking your Pancakes
Despite the fact that as a nation, we’ll consume on average 2 pancakes each, that doesn’t mean we all are. I mean, if it’s an average of 2 each, with my consumption alone that must mean that at least 4 or 5 other people aren’t having any.
So why not drink your traditions? Enter one of our Caribbean Chocolate Cake beers from last year’s selection - Caribbean White Chocolate Pancake Stack.
The opposite of Antidawn, this one pours with the golden colour of a traditional pale ale, but comes with all the flavours and aromas you expect in a stout.
The Pancake element comes from the wood the beer is spun on (read the spinbot blog for more on spinning); in this case - Amburana. Amburana wood is incredible. It gives beer a unique and unmistakable spicy maple flavour.
From reviews of the beer last year, we had comments like:
“Memories of delicious stacks syrup covered pancake"
“...it just balances out perfectly with the rest of the beer and it really does remind you of pancakes. It’s your breakfast in a beer glass. Coffee and a sweet stack of buttery vanilla pancakes drizzled in maple syrup. - @jefferseatsandbeer”
“Everyone should try it for the fabulous aroma alone, but those that stick around will delight in this decadent liquid dessert with an addictively unusual twist.”
Show us yours!
So there we have it then, whether you’re making, pairing or just drinking your pancakes, we have you covered. Let us know how you’re doing it this year, what you’re pairing your pancakes with, and good luck with your Siren S Pancakes!