Cooking for us is all about showcasing fresh, seasonal produce and bringing bright, refreshing flavours to our plates. Not surprisingly we not just brew with botanicals but love to cook with them too. Luckily beers that display herbal and floral flavours pair beautifully alongside dishes with a botanical accompaniment.
So what is a botanical? Basically it is herbs, spices, fruits and other substances obtained from a plant and used typically in food, medicinal or cosmetic products. Herbs are the leaves of plants while spices are a broader category including seeds, roots, bark, flowers, pods, etc.
Bright hops, spices we use in our brewing process as well as yeasty flavours all tend to resonate well with fresh herbs. In general, when a beer is described as bright, fresh, herbal, floral or fruity it is quite easy to create a complementary flavour on your plate. Let’s dive into some common herbs found fresh in almost every supermarket and our beer pairing suggestions.
Fresh coriander + Lowlander Indonesian Pale Ale
This pairing is easy to understand as our Indonesian Pale Ale is brewed with coriander seed. And if you plant coriander seed, you’ll grow fresh coriander leaves ;-). Although the taste of seeds and leaves is quite different, they both lend a decidedly floral, almost perfumy flavour. Our IPA with its citrusy, fruity and bitter flavour goes well with all kinds of Asian food in which fresh coriander is commonly found. The intensity of a tasty pork belly bun stands up to the strong characteristics of our IPA and allows for a complex finish. And what to think of an Indonesian satay? The Indonesian version tends to be a bit sweeter than other varieties due to the use of ginger in both the marinade and the peanut sauce.
Rosemary + Lowlander American Pale Ale
Rosemary is woody and fragrant with almost resinous, pine-like aromas. It is the perfect companion for dishes like roast potatoes, lamb, beef; all hearty and savory. You only need a little to experience to almost aggressively flavoured rosemary so it can stand up to a assertive beers like our American Pale Ale. Notes of grapefruit and citrus hops in the beer create a combination that resembles the classic blend of rosemary and citrus. The elevated carbonation levels, alcohol content and citrusy flavours of our Pale Ale cleanse the palate, hence grilled or fried gourmet fast food is a good choice.
Mint + Lowlander Yuzu & Grapefruit Botanical Infusion
From desserts to salads and cocktails: citrus and mint make a popular refreshing flavour combination. While citrus is bright acidic and floral, refreshing mint naturally contrasts beautifully. The soda-like carbonation of our Yuzu & Grapefruit Botanical Infusion elevated aromatic mint leaves to another level. Add mint to a fresh ceviche or grilled fish.
Mint + Lowlander Ginger & Kaffir Lime Botanical Infusion
Another classic combo must be mint and ginger. We don’t just add mint to our citrus seasoned crab or shrimps but actually serve our Lowlander Ginger & Kaffir Lime with a sprig of mint in it. Mint is both refreshing and has a sort of spiciness at the same time, making it the perfect companion for ginger.
Lemongrass + Lowlander White Ale
We just loooove the aroma of lemongrass, a herb you might not be that familiar with yet. Traditionally used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines, its bright, floral and (of course) lemony aroma lends itself to be paired with a flavourful beer that’s not too intense. Our White Ale is a typical Dutch witbier, brewed with curaçao orange, elderflower and chamomile. Refreshing and crisp, with a fruity and flowering finish; hence the match with the “bright, floral and (of course) lemony aroma” of lemongrass. Lemongrass is used in curries, often accompanied by red peppers. Our White Ale cools the burn as well and is a perfect foil to rich creamy curries.
What Lowlander Beer would you choose to pair with some other favourites like thyme, parsley or basil?