The Lowlanders have been celebrating Sinterklaas since the 1300s, and while we love the gezelligheid of this most Dutch of festivities, it’s fair to say that some Sint traditions are due a shake-up.
Take pakjesavond: on 5 December, most people can expect the man in the red robes to leave them a chocolate letter in the shape of their initial. We say, why be ‘most people? Our exclusive, seasonal Winter IPA takes the chocolate-letter tradition and refreshes it: the label of each bottle is decorated with a letter so that you can still personalise your gift, but with added benefits – the surprise in the shoe becomes a shared Sint moment, as bottles are clinked, toasts are proposed, and the crisp, resinous botanicals of spruce and juniper add to the festive feel.
This years chocolate letter alternative
This year, we’ve dared to go against the grain with a wintry White IPA instead of a more predictable dark beer, bringing elements of the season into the experience by using botanicals that evoke the Christmas season. Here are three reasons why, without turning your back on tradition, you should go against the grain this Sinterklaas, too.
Sinterklaas is for grown-ups as well
Yes, everyone likes chocolate, but for anyone over 18, doesn’t a personalised bottle of Dutch made, botanically brewed beer knock a mass-produced chunk of cocoa right out of the park? Leave the sugar rush to the kids and kick back instead with a chilled, refreshing and aromatic Winter White IPA. After all, you’ve been good this year, haven’t you? Don’t forget to leave a bottle on ice for Sint Nicolaas himself, like the Belgians do – although few will be able to resist that last, lonely Lowlander for long…
Surprise is key
The surprise has always been a big part of Sinterklaas festivities, with a lot more thought invested in the elaborate wrapping of gifts than in the gifts themselves. Packages of epic proportions disguising tiny trinkets, boxes whose intricate decorations give clues as to their contents, presents suspended in gunge – in the past, people have gone to great lengths to achieve that all-important element of surprise. We’ve taken the spirit of the surprise to the next level: by bottling something unexpected and putting our heart and soul into both the packaging and what’s inside, we’ve made it easy for you to surprise your loved ones this Sinterklaas.
Food, glorious food
As well as chocolate, Dutch people tend to eat their weight in speculaas and pepernoten at this time of year. At Sinterklaas, a gourmet is the way to go – in the Netherlands, it just ain’t a party without a miniature indoor barbecue to gather around. Thanks to their inspiring botanical blends, Lowlander beers are perfect for pairing with food: we recommend a rich beef dish or a baked Camembert to go with the Winter IPA. Of course, the Winter IPA is also delicious on its own, and light enough to be enjoyed as an apéritif. There is literally no bad way to drink it. So pick a letter and… proost!