An interview with..Frederik Kampman from Lowlander
Brewed with botanicals: it is prominent on every bottle of Lowlander. Tasty beer, brewed with herbs and spices: the starting point of Lowlander. When you talk to founder and Chief Botanical Officer Frederik Kampman, you understand why: "The Netherlands has a very rich brewing history, especially when it comes to brewing with herbs and spices."
IPA: Indonesian Pale Ale
Frederik launched Lowlander on 1 January 2016. The interest in herbs and spices has been around for some time, partly due to a past at a distillery, where he developed Gin with botanicals. Frederik: "That was fantastic to do, but I really wanted to put something on the map myself. I thought I could use those herbs not only in gin, but also in beer. When I started researching that, I discovered the rich Dutch beer history. We use that as inspiration for now."
Dutch trade history is also an important source of inspiration: "In the golden age we exported a lot of beer and all kinds of herbs and spices came back. They all ended up in liqueurs and gin, but also in beer. For example, our IPA is brewed with Ketoembar (coriander seed) and white tea, the same botanicals that came from Indonesia. Our IPA is therefore an Indonesian Pale Ale. "
Read more below...
Dutch history is reflected in the details on the labels. For example, the crossed-out O in Lowlander represents a waterline of a ship. You will still see it on ships today to check whether a boat is not overloaded. In addition, short anecdotes of Dutch trade history are on the labels.
"So I wanted to do something Dutch, which will appeal internationally," continues Frederik. "Inspired by the past, relevant in the present. With Lowlander this all comes together: botanicals that have a link with the Dutch brewing and trading history, processed in a beer with the taste of today. "
The basic principle of Lowlander is the opposite of the German Rheinheitsgebot, where every addition, even herbs and spices, is out of the question. Of course, it is mainly about brewing good beer: "The recognisability of the botanicals is important, as long as it is in balance with the rest. Herbs in beer can quickly become too much and dominate", explains Frederik. "It's about the ' oh-yeah' moment, the moment you recognize an herb or spice, without it being too much. "
In order to spread the story of the botanicals and to let people experience it, Frederick and his team sell their beers at festivals and events from the Botanical Brew Bar, a tuk-tuk where also all the used herbs can be found. "It's great to taste our Pale Ale, for example, and to smell the sumac spice we used in the beer. It shows the complexity of citrus.”