Botanicals. Most people associate botanicals as the key ingredient in gin and they’d be right! However, one man, Frederik Kampman has found another use for them – to brew beer.
Created and brewed in the Netherlands, Frederik, the Founder of Lowlander Beers or as some like to call him, the Chief Botanical Officer, uses botanicals including coriander, white tea, elderflower and vanilla in the three-strong beer range.
The beers are inspired by the rich history of Dutch brewing combined with a passion for distilling (traditionally botanicals are used in spirits such as gin). The Golden Age saw Dutch explorers traverse the globe and return home with cargos brimming with precious herbs and spices. These botanicals soon made their way into Dutch beer, adding extra flavour.
It took 18 long months of trial and error to perfect the recipes but Lowlander eventually ended up with three distinct flavours, all of which boast their own personality.
Lowlander has launched a gift pack which holds each of the three beers plus a glass from which to enjoy the beers. Available to order via Amazon. RRP is £12.70. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.co.
Lowlander White Ale – 5% ABV: With its refreshing fruity notes, the drink is a tribute to the restless and rugged spirit of renowned Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz. An attempt to navigate the Northeast passage saw his crew fight twin terrors; polar bears and frozen beer. The White Ale, a beer style typical to the Lowlands, receives an appealing twist by spiking it with curacao orange, elderflower and chamomile giving it a fragrant fruity finish.
Lowlander I.P.A. – 6% ABV: Dutch seafarers returning from the East would often bring back monkeys, which they would sell to tavern-keepers to pay off drinking debts. Lowlander’s I.P.A., with its hints of botanicals and spice, is a tribute to those sailors’ spirit of adventure and quick thinking. Indonesian as opposed to Indian, Lowlander uses coriander and white tea to give it a citrusy, fruity and bitter taste.
Lowlander Poorter – 6% ABV: Traditionally men known as ‘poorter’s’ would haul sacks filled with herbs and spices from tradesmen’s ships to the gates of cities. This tradition has led some to argue that the ‘Porter’ style beer claimed by the British is in fact Dutch. Either way, Lowlander has brewed a typically Dutch beer with liquorice root and vanilla that delivers a robust, sweet and surprisingly drinkable Poorter.
All three Lowlander Beers have bespoke food pairings and have endless beer-tail possibilities. Lowlander White Ale can be paired with seafood, salads or spicy food. The I.P.A. works wonderfully with Asian cuisine and the Poorter can be drunk alongside roasted or grilled meats and (chocolate) desserts.
Q: Is brewing with botanicals new?
A: No, certainly not. The idea of brewing with botanicals is steeped in the ‘Lowlands’ brewing history. Pre 17th Century Dutch beer was infamous for the variety of herbs and spices it was brewed with. They gave Dutch beer a longer shelf life and a superior flavour. Unfortunately, this history has been forgotten. Lowlander aims to revive the tradition but with new and improved recipes.
Q: Where does Lowlander source its botanicals?
A: Lowlander’s botanicals come from one of the oldest existing spice traders in the world; Jacob Hooy. Established in Amsterdam in 1743 Jacob Hooy has become a by-word for quality and knowledge regarding all things spice related. They get their spices from all around the world allowing Lowlander to trace the exact origin of all of their ingredients.