FOOD     BIER     DESIGN     COMMUNITY     BIKES

WE’RE HUGE IN JAPAN BELGIUM

Bier is a huge part of Lowland European culture—as integral as frites, cafés and bicycles, and here at the Lowlands Group, we love bier—from sourcing unique biers to perfecting the way each is served in the proper glass. In fact, a member of our Brewminati (our team of bier experts) has even been named an Honorary Knight in the Knighthood of the Brewer’s Mashstaff, better know as the Belgian Brewer’s Guild.

WE’RE HUGE IN JAPAN BELGIUM

Bier is a huge part of Lowland European culture—as integral as frites, cafés and bicycles, and here at the Lowlands Group, we love bier—from sourcing unique biers to perfecting the way each is served in the proper glass. In fact, a member of our Brewminati (our team of bier experts) has even been named an Honorary Knight in the Knighthood of the Brewer’s Mashstaff, better know as the Belgian Brewer’s Guild.

TO THE END OF
THE WORLD AND BACK

Each year, our Brewminati council combs the breweries, monasteries and cobblestone streets of Europe to meet (and taste) with the monks, brewmasters and families who have made bier their passion for centuries. Step into one of our Grand Cafés to experience these biers, which we pair with an ambiance and culinary approach that are inspired directly from these visits to the Lowlands of Europe.

TO THE END OF
THE WORLD AND BACK

Each year, our Brewminati council combs the breweries, monasteries and cobblestone streets of Europe to meet (and taste) with the monks, brewmasters and families who have made bier their passion for centuries. Step into one of our Grand Cafés to experience these biers, which we pair with an ambiance and culinary approach that are inspired directly from these visits to the Lowlands of Europe.

Our passion for bier runs so deep that we’ve collaborated with some of the world’s best brewers—who have become close friends—to create our own exclusive biers, crafted with friendship and available exclusively at our cafés. We call this partnership the Lowlands Brewing Collaborative, and feature brewers from as far away as Belgium and as close as our back yard.

What’s In a Glass

In a country like Belgium, where bier is such an integral part of their national identity, people serve their biers in a way that respects the style, tradition and history of each brew. This often means that each brewery creates a specific, custom glass for each of the biers they brew. The shape and size of a glass can drastically alter the appearance, aroma and taste of a bier, that is why we go through great lengths to import the “proper” glass supplied by the brewers of the biers we carry. Which is also why you’ll see racks and racks of amazing glass designs behind our bars. A lot of craft breweries are just now starting to serve their biers in specialty glasses, rather that in a standard American “pint glass.” We’re happy to say we started the crusade to kill the pint glass when we opened our first location in 2006. Now, raise a glass! A proper one.

BELGIAN BIER FAQ’s

First-time visitors to one of our Grand Cafés often are overwhelmed by the huge selection of foreign-looking bier options we carry, and have questions about why we do certain things the way we do. Here are the most common questions we encounter:

WHY DO YOU SPELL BEER WITH THE LETTER “I” IN IT? THAT’S WEIRD.

Don’t get us wrong, beer has its place—mowing the lawn, tubing lazily down a river, drinking it warm at a ballgame. But “bier” is more central to life. Something to be enjoyed with close friends on an outdoor patio. Or to toast the occasions in life that call for a little celebration. That’s why. Plus, that’s how the Dutch spell it.

 

HOW COME MY POUR WAS SO SMALL? ARE YOU RIPPING ME OFF?

This is the most common question we receive. Many of the specialty biers we serve are well over 10% alcohol and are therefore poured in smaller quantities than the more sessionable biers you may be used to. Most of the imported specialty glassware we serve will have a proper “pour line” printed on the side of it. This is the level that the liquid portion of the bier should be poured to to ensure the proper taste, aroma and appearance for that specific bier, in that specific glass.

 

WHY DID YOU POUR SUCH A LARGE HEAD ON MY BIER? ARE YOU RIPPING ME OFF?

The second-most-common question we receive. (See above for #1) Depending on the style of the bier and the glass it’s served in, a bier may appear to be almost 50% head in the glass. A good example of this is Tripel Karmeliet, which when properly poured, is visually half-foam. This is why we include pour-sizes on our menus so you can be assured that your pour is intentional. The reason for robust heads is that a large portion of the experience of many Belgian biers is olfactory. The flavor of the bier is greatly impacted by what your nose is doing at the time of quaffing. If you were to drink the same bier that was poured “american style” down the side of an angled pint glass, you would taste a completely different bier.

 

I POURED THE REST OF MY BOTTLE INTO MY GLASS AND THERE ARE SOME WEIRD FLOATIES. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? I DIDN’T ORDER A KOMBUCHA.

That my friend, would be yeast. Many Belgian biers are “bottle conditioned,” which means that they are actually alive! These biers haven’t been pasteurised or filtered before bottling, like “dead” biers usually are. Bottle conditioned bier actually improves in flavor with aging, just like wine, unlike pasteurized biers than can taste skunky after only a few months. When pouring a bottle-conditioned bier, it’s best to pour gently to avoid stirring up the sediment. Most people leave a little bier in the bottle to avoid drinking the yeast, but many think that’s the best part. So don’t worry about it—it won’t kill you.

Bierklasse

The world of bier is  large and diverse, which is why we started Lowlands Bierklasse. Our klasses started out originally as a way to train our staff about the specialty biers that we carry. They were so successful, and people like them so much, that we started offering the klasses publically in our cafés so our guests could learn along with us. We offer a vast syllabus of topics with both public and private klasses available.

Bier Dinners

We travel around the world, often to visit our favorite brewer friends. Sometimes they repay us with a visit, which gives us a unique opportunity to introduce you to our friends at one of our special “Bier Dinner” events. Taste some great biers, paired with themed multi-course meals, and meet the brewers who craft them.

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