The Netherlands is a country “low by the sea” and has during centuries fought against, trade partner and enemy: the sea.

Many inundations with salty water have flogged the country. As a result of that the Dutch have always been looking for possibilities to win land from the sea and protect people and agriculture. The salt in the soil prohibit many crops to thrive. In the cereals group there is only barley who can grow with a sufficient agronomic yield.

So it is not strange that “polders” and islands in the delta of the Scheldt were mainly barley producers. So many new and always better adapted barley varieties have seen the first light in the polders of the Netherlands. Dutch Pale Ale is a tribute to the many people who contributed to the success of Dutch barley and beer.

The expression Stout was first mentioned in the late 1600’s as synonym of strong beers, having fuller body and strength. “Stout Ales” as well as “Stout Porters” existed back then. Later the name Stout has got closer to dark Porters, and in the 18th century it was widely used referring to the stronger version of Porters (also Guinness brewery had a “Stout Porter”). Thanks to the technical developments at the time black malt was invented and widely used in these styles. By the end of 1800’s Stout emerged as a distinctive style, with an addition of more dark malt and hops that Porters had back then.

Recent examples are brewed from a lower original gravity and there is no significant difference in ABV vs Porters. Stouts have a pronounced roasted taste, usually with a hint of coffee or sometimes chocolate. The majority within the style is usually on the more bitter and drier side. They are also called Dublin-type stout, that is made with a large addition of roasted barley. Nevertheless, there are some balanced versions with some malty sweetness (Cork-type stouts) getting their flavours from chocolate and other specialty malts. Draught versions are very popular, as they are typically poured by nitrogen, thus having a creamy, long-lasting foam and a silky mouthfeel.

This time we present a recipe for the drier version.

Grain bill: A basis of your grist should be pale malt. Just like Guinness, you need to add a large proportion of roasted barley. For the creamy textures and dry finish, we recommend to use at least 20% of barley flakes. For the dry mouthfeel your mash shouldn’t exceed 67°C (153 F).

  The Swaen Malt Color Quantity Ratio
   Swaen©Ale 8 EBC 3,6 lov 3,0 kg 6,6 lbs 67%
   Barley Flakes 3 EBC 1,7 lov 1,0 kg 2,2 lbs 22%
   BlackSwaen©Barley 1100 EBC 415 lov 0,5 kg 1,1 lb 11%

Hops: Add hops only at the begging of the boil for bitterness, aroma hops are rarely used in this beer.

   Variety Quantity Lenght Alpha acid IBU
   East Kent Goldings 50 g 1,8 oz 60 min 4,5% 32

Yeast: For the dry finish chose higher attenuation strains. Ferment at 19-21 °C (66-70 F) for 7-10 days.

Dry Liquid
Gozdawa British Ale Withbread WhiteLabs WLP007 Dry English Ale
Lallemand Nottingham Wyeast Irish Ale 1084

Results: Creamy maltiness, hint of coffee, easy to drink

Food pairing: Beef or lamb stew, steak pie, oysters

OG 1.036-1.044
FG 1.007-1.011
ABV 4.0-4.5%
IBU 25-45
SRM 25-40
Batch size: 19 l (5 gallon)
Efficiency: 70 %
OG: 1.041
FG: 1.009
ABV: 4,2 %
Bitterness: 32 IBU
Colour: 35 SRM
Carbonation: 1.6
pH: 5,2

We often get the question what the difference between Swaen© Ale and the new Swaen© Dutch Pale Ale is. The quick answer would be the origin, but there is more to it than that.

First, let us take a look at the similarities. Both are used to correct bleached malt, to produce a full golden beer. These malts are modified normally, instead of being overmodified. They are not just darker base malts, but a unique part of your unique recipes.

What makes the Dutch Pale Ale unique is that it is made from 100% Dutch barley. To achieve this, we closely work together with local top growers. This way, we can trace the quality in every production stage. These factors guarantee the availability of high quality malting barley.

The aim of this cooperation is the sustainable improvement of the barley crop and the building of the correct chain structure. Currently 30-40 farmers are growing for The Swaen.

Our Dutch Pale Ale malt makes excellent Pale Ale styles and bitter beers, as well as most traditional English beer styles and strong export beers.

YESSSSS! Finally we can share with you that soon our B2B platform will be completely renewed under the name Birdys. After a lot of research and testing, we were able to develop a platform to make it super easy and convenient for you as a customer to order your brewing supplies.

What will change for you?

As a user of the platform, nothing changes in the ordering process. Your account will stay the same and you will have the same login details. Furthermore, the agreements you might have (including payment terms, contract terms, prices, etc.) will stay exactly the same. The product range will be as you are used to, in fact it will expand. In the future you can continue to contact your familiar contact person.

What has changed is the logo as well as the usability. After testing and developing we are happy to introduce a platform with heavily advanced usability and a much better user experience. The whole ordering process will be even more convenient than it used to be. Be our guest and test it soon!

If you would like to have an account for Birdys, fill in the form on our webpage.
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The use of ingredients to enhance taste in beer is as old as its history. In general it is believed that the first beer was made or “discovered” by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia some 6000 years ago. It was also the time nomads started to create agricultural communities producing e.g. bread from the growing and breeding of grasses. Probably some wet or soaked bread started to ferment spontaneously and tasting the liquor, the drinkers found it very promising….

But it was already clear then that the primitive sugary partially low fermented liquor tasted very weak. Local tasty ingredients as honey, dates and some herbs were used to spice the beer.

And ever since one has always been trying to improve taste and more interesting shelf life. In Medieval times in North-West Europe the use of a mixture of herbs (gruit or gruut) did partially the job. As beer making was not only a domestic occupation anymore monasteries and the first commercial brewers had to pay tax for the use of “gruut”. This right to put tax was sometimes given to the Church but also sold by the government to rich families. That is why the constitution of the blend of the different herbs was kept secret and often dried and mixed with malt It was in fact the first tax on beer in history.

The mean ingredients were bog myrtle or sweet gale (gagel), marsch or wild rosemary (moeras rozemarijn) and yarrow (duizendblad). The first two were growing in different location so it was the one or the other. Apart of those herbs a lot of other herbs (more than 100) were used even ones which were absolutely dangerous when used too much. Used along their appearance.

Growing of hops arises around 9th century in South Germany and Techy. It started to be popular in beer as from the 13th century. Beer made with hops had a much better shelf life and with increasing trade amongst the Hanza cities this beer was preferred by the trade. But it could only compete the “gruut” beer when also the hop beers were taxed (on demand of the trade). So there was no problem for the beneficiaries of the tax to change. Around that time beer making became also an important craft. And if money is to be made there are always crooks… Often tax was bypassed by using less, other or cheap ingredients. This led already in the 14th century to laws which were stipulating which ingredients to be used.

In 1516 the two Bavarian monarchs proclaimed the famous “Reinheitgebot” wherein was fixed that beer could only be made anymore with water, barley(malt) and hops. This law insured at the same time two purposes: a certain quality level and also a more easy way to tax the beer. This law claims to be the first food safety law in Europe. For sure the law also prohibited the import of “other” beers in Germany up into the 20th century. Certainly pilsener type brewers adapted the German law not only for export/import reasons but also from a marketing point of view.

Nowadays big adjunct brewers get strong competition of the Craft scene. A new attitude come along with the new interest in artisanal brewed beer. A lot of attention is paid to ingredients, not only a big choice in all kind of hops but also in malted cereals.

Porters has been created as an answer to the lighter pale ales. It became very popular among porters who worked at docks and streets of England and quickly turned into the beer of the working men in the 18th century. In the 1800’s the invention of the roaster opened wide opportunities for brewers to increase complexity and create new tastes. Since then Porter is continuously developing in terms of ingredients, technology and of course drinkers taste. Nevertheless – just like a few other styles – Porters disappeared after WWII and have been also ascended with the start of the craft beer era. These days craft brewers create many new interesting – and sometimes crazy – Porter style beers, that makes sometimes the lines between certain Stouts and Porters blurred. This time we would like to bring you back to the traditional roots and give you an overview about the 3 main types of Porter: Brown Porter, Robust Porter and Baltic Porter.

Brown Porter originates in England somewhere in the early 1700’s, also called English Porter. Most historians claim that the style evolved from a mixture of 3 various beers (pale ale, mild and stale), known as “Entire”, while others say it’s simply a darkening evolution of English Ales. This type is the lightest one, easy to drink, has the lowest ABV and bitterness in the group. Provides a creamy mouthfeel with sweet and caramel-like flavours. Although it is considered as the precursor to stout, strong, burnt roasted malt character should not be present. Some old versions of this beer even used Brettanomyces to add a funky character to the beer. The grain bill consists of numerous varieties, including various crystal malts, chocolate and also a small amount of darker black malts.

Robust Porter is the stronger, longer-aged, more complex and roasty big brother of Brown Porter. The style has recent origins, evolved in the modern craft beer ages from less bold English variants to full-bodied American ones. This is why nowadays it is often referred as American Porter too. This style is the more aggressive and hoppier version of Brown (English) Porters, so the examples we drink today significantly differs from the traditional ones. These Porters should always have an intensive roasted character with hints of coffee and chocolate, that is well balanced with the creamy and malty sweetness of crystal malts. Roasted barley flavour isn’t typical in this style either, that distinguish it from Stouts. The tastiest versions may expand the malt character with bready and biscuit-like flavours and aromas.

Baltic Porter Porter was the first internationally distributed beer. When England started beer export to the Baltics, people quickly fell in love with the style. As in these colder countries German lager brewing dominated, a bottom-fermented variant emerged. Those creative brewers not only adapted the traditional ale style to the lager version, but also began to create stronger and more complex types of the English Porter, formed what today is known as Baltic Porter. It can be also described as a lager-style Imperial Stout and in fact it has a large influence by its ale brother, therefor it’s often referred as Imperial Porter. Among these Porters this is the heaviest one, imparts a huge load of roasty character, reminiscent of chocolate, coffee and some fruitiness.