Grate potatoes in long strips, using smooth strokes to run the potatoes across the grater into a large bowl of cold water. Drain potatoes well, reserving liquid, and transfer to a second bowl.
Set reserved liquid aside for 10 minutes to allow the starch to sink to the bottom of the bowl. Carefully pour the liquid from the bowl, reserving the milky residue (potato starch), and discard. Transfer potatoes back to bowl with potato starch.
Add onion to the bowl with potatoes. Stir in eggs, beer, flour, salt, and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In a heavy skillet, heat 1/2-inch of oil. Spoon 1/2 cup of potato mixture per pancake into skillet. Make a few at a time, being careful that they don't run into each other.
Fry on both sides until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain. Keep warm in oven while preparing the others. Serve hot with applesauce, sour cream, and caviar, if desired.
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