With all the advice about how to eat healthily and cure our hangovers, January is hard enough without having to trip over discarded Christmas trees around every corner. This won’t be a problem for Netherlands residents this year, however, thanks to an innovative initiative from one Dutch brewer.
Amsterdam-based Lowlander Beer is collecting used Christmas trees and plans to use their pines to infuse the first batch of its 2019 Winter IPA.
“Every December, about 2.5 million real trees bring Christmas spirit into our homes. By New Year, most of these end up in the chipper, on bonfires or piled at the roadside,” said Frederik Kampman, Lowlander’s chief botanical officer. “We have found another use for them: in beer.”
According to a press release, this isn’t a simple case of door-to-door collecting; the botanical brewer needs at least 600 kilograms of pine needles before work can begin on the first batch.
To get a headstart, Lowlander partnered with Amsterdam’s RAI Convention Centre, the Amsterdam Botanical Gardens, and several restaurants and bars, all of which promised to donate their trees after the festive period.
The brewery also started a crowdfunding campaign, Tree to Table, to help fund the project. The campaign will see the remains of the trees turned into “delicious cheeses and smoking chips” so that no part goes to waste. Those that donate will have exclusive access to events like the “Botanical Dinner Experience,” as well as a limited-edition brew, the Lowlander Botanical Brut, made with spruce pines and Champagne yeast.
Dutch drinkers can already sample Lowlander’s Winter IPA, as a previous batch was brewed with spruce pines and juniper berries that the brewery purchased from its regular suppliers. Lowlander describes the 5-percent-ABV beer as a “refreshing White IPA with hoppy tones and a resinous citrus kick.” Sounds like a proper winter beer to us.