One drinking trend that I’m not very keen on is drinking at breakfast or brunch. No disrespect to anyone who enjoys mimosas or a beer brunch. It’s simply not my thing, mostly because drinking makes me sleepy and I just woke up – I want coffee, not alcohol. However, I’ll gladly eat beer for breakfast, and one of my favorite ways to do so is with these banana brown ale pancakes.
The pancakes came about one morning when I was thinking of a way to use up some ripe bananas, and I also noticed that we were swimming in brown ales. I decided to combine the two into a spiced pancake. While the spices enhanced the sweetness of each ingredient, what I really liked was the way that the distinctive beer taste blended with the banana, honey, and cinnamon. Too often when I find beer+baked good recipes, the beer is so muted that you really only get to enjoy saying, “Look, beer in my cupcakes/brownies/muffins!” With these, you get to say “Look, beer in my pancakes!” and actually taste it, too.
The recipe calls for a whole bottle of beer, so if you want to make a beer brunch out of it, have a few extra chilled in the refrigerator. I used Long Trail Harvest Barn Ale for the pictured batch, but have also used Smuttynose Old Brown Dog. You can use any brown ale you like, though be mindful of any varieties that say they’re extra-hopped or have other flavors, as you may need to adjust some of the ingredients for sweetness and such. I use whole wheat flour because it creates a sturdier pancake, so if you choose to use all-purpose flour, be mindful that they may spread into a thinner cake. The pancakes taste good on their own, but maple syrup is of course delicious on them, as is unsalted butter. Unsalted butter in particular plays with the malt and hop flavors very nicely. Happy breakfasting!
Banana Brown Ale Pancakes
2-3 ripe bananas
1-½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TB honey
1 12-oz bottle of brown ale
Mash the banana in a bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix with a fork. Drizzle in honey, then add the beer. Whisk until just mixed — you’ll have a liquidy batter.
Heat a skillet on medium heat and coat with oil, butter, or cooking spray. Measure a ¼ cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake and cook 2 minutes on each side. Keep finished pancakes warm in a 200 F oven until ready to serve.
Yield 8-9 generous pancakes