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Beertails and other botanicals - Lowlander Beer

By February 08, 2017 , , ,

When I first encountered Lowlander beer, it was at the launch of Justin Brown's The Chippy in Amsterdam. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of complexity from both the nose and the flavour in the beers. 

My next encounter was at Taste of Amsterdam in June, it was on a more formal basis as I attended one of their beer (and beertail) tasting sessions where I got to taste the full range of the beers. I also had the pleasure of meeting the founder Frederik Kampman at the event.  We agreed to meet up again and talk more about Lowlander and their beers and finally got round to it recently.
Frederik Kampman telling us about Lowlander and beertails at Taste of Amsterdam 2016

We met first at Jacob Hooy in Nieuwmarkt in Amsterdam, where Frederik was keen to show where they buy their botanicals. For those of you unfamiliar with Jacob Hooy it is one of the oldest pharmacies dating back to 1648 and the reason for us beginning our evening there was to highlight the emphasis the Lowlander brand has on history and it's influences on what we eat and drink now. 

Botanicals are not uncommon within the brewing processes, but Lowlander places a keen emphasis on them in bringing out the best in the beer's character. Frederik's background in the distilling industry has had a major influence on this. They don't look at what's trending or popular, but focus on quality of product and more unusual flavours.

Lowlander started life a few years ago, but have only recently come into the spotlight in the last 18 months. What started as experiments with looking at how different botanicals react with different flavours, then progressed to how they worked with beers. Frederik decided to start brewing his own.  

They've deliberately avoided the craft beer tag and rightly so as the beers do stand out from the crowd. Word of mouth has spread and many bars in Amsterdam proudly stock it as well as it being served at the Historic Wijnand Fockink (which was one of our next stops) distillery in the heart of the city. 

They have also teamed up with the distillery to produce some new recipes for beertails. Beertails have not really taken off here in the Netherlands but are becoming very popular in London and New York. You'd be surprised that given the right beer with the right accompaniments how well it will work. That's where the distillers at Wynand Fockink have come in with their range of liqueurs, bitters and spirits. 

Lowlander currently have 3 beers on offer; a White Ale, an IPA and a Poorter with another 2 in the pipeline, one of which is an American IPA which will be launched in the next month (I had a sneak preview, it was very nice). They also like to play with flavours in their beertails which essentially use the beers as a key ingredient in the cocktail rather than as something to top up the drink. Their recipes can be found here on their site

The white ale has elderflower, curacao orange and chamomile, blended in a way so that the ingredients produce a smooth flavour. Elderflower provides a good depth of backnote flavour.

The IPA is my favourite of the three, it has white tea and coriander, the tea gives a lovely tannic element and the coriander a freshness.

Now to the Poorter, I'm not the worlds biggest fan of these types of dark beer as I often find them on the sweet side. This poorter however did surprise me as the vanilla and liquorice give a hidden depth to the drink. I like to use this in cooking and it works well with the traditional porter cake recipe that I published last year. 

For more information on Lowlander and their beers go to www.lowlanderbeer.com. For more information on Wynand Fockink got to www.wynand-fockink.nl/

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