The third member of the Lowlander beer family is a fabulously robust Poorter. As with its siblings, our Poorter has a very special story to tell. Whilst the British claim to have birthed this style of dark ale we believe its true origin lies in the murky history of the Dutch docklands.
The first instance of ‘Porter beer’ in print was found in a series of letters to London in the 1720’s hence the British claim to have invented it. However, a beer known as ‘Poorter’ was being drunk as early as the 14th Century in the Netherlands. The brew was named after the poorters who spent their days toiling away in the docklands, hauling tradesmen’s loot from ships to city centres. The jet black tipple provided them with the calories and courage they needed to get through the day.
The poorters found in Amsterdam would carry, amongst other things, huge sacks of botanicals from the ships portholes to canal warehouses. They would take a trip to ‘De Waag’ (or ‘the scale’) en route to have their spoils weighed. In the old days De Waag would act as the gate to the city where any goods being brought in were weighed and duly taxed. Old Amsterdam’s De Waag still stands today in Nieuwmarkt where you can drop by and sample a Lowlander Beer Poorter.
Once they’d been weighed and taxed the sumptuous sacks of botanicals continued on their journey to their new homes; canal-side warehouses. Two interesting phenomena arose from this. Firstly, in order to avoid being knocked and damaged on their way up the notoriously steep facades of the warehouses, buildings grew to be slightly tilted. A stroll around modern-day Amsterdam serves as a reminder of this, there are precariously angled buildings on every corner. The second off-shoot is a wave of reports from would-be developers commenting on peculiar smells wafting from the walls of old canal-side buildings during renovation. The fragrance of the botanicals stored in warehouses all those years ago was so strong that a whiff off them still remains today!
Inspired by all the quirks in the history of Poorter beer we have created our version with a twist. Brewed with liquorice, a long-standing Lowlander favourite, and vanilla (for valuable sweetness) our Poorter is smooth, bold and unapologetically Dutch.
The robust intensity and depth of Lowlander’s Poorter perfectly compliments slow-roasted meat dishes and rich chocolate deserts. We certainly don’t need an excuse to try out that combination, the only decision left is whether we should drink from the bottle or a glass….