Bols Genever and Stillwater Artisanal Ales Reinvent the Kopstootje

Lucas Bols, the world’s oldest distilled spirits brand, has found a natural match with brewing wunderkind Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, who has created a unique beer to sip alongside Bols Genever. The new brew is designed to educate Americans in the experience of Kopstootje, the unique Dutch centuries-long tradition of a “beer and a shot.” Bols Genever and Stillwater Ales, an innovative partnership, will roll out a seven-city U.S. tour this February and March to introduce the concept to the masses. Stillwater Artisanal Kopstootje is a refreshing Saison style ale brewed as a deconstruction of Bols Genever with barley, wheat, rye, and corn accent lightly with a mix of spices to complete the marriage to Bols Genever.

Chug it, Slam it, or Down it are typical words associated with drinking a shot of liquor, but Kopstootje, a Dutch drinking ritual found in every bar in Holland, is a bit more refined in the technique. Literally translated as a “little head butt,” a Kopstootje is a shot sipped from a tulip glass filled to the brim with Bols Genever and paired up with a beer. Bartenders fill the tulip glass to the absolute rim creating a meniscus shape that almost overflows. Drinkers bend forward, put their hands on their back and slurp the top, then take a sip of the accompanying beer.

At the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans , Bols Genever saw an opportunity to educate bartenders and consumers about the Kopstootje. The brand introduced the “beer and Bols” pairing concept by setting a record for the World’s Largest Koopstootje Toast. Over 400 imbibers and revelers participated in the event making history, along with garnering intrigue around the Kopstootje concept.

The success of the event led the Lucas Bols company to seek collaboration with the nomadic American Craft Brewer, Stillwater Artisanal Ales, to create tailor-made Kopstootje beer, for the American public.

“Lucas Bols is deeply committed to crafting the highest quality spirits and we’re thrilled to be partnering with brewing luminary Brian Strumke, who shares this same commitment,” said Tal Nadari, Managing Director, Lucas Bols USA. “Stillwater Kopstootje Beer is being specially brewed to accompany Bols Genever’s rich bouquet of botanicals. It will be a perfect accompaniment to Bols Genever’s rich and malty flavor, and will give the Dutch tradition an American twist.”

The 2012 seven-city tour will feature Brian from Stillwater Ales as well as Tal Nadari, Managing Director of Lucas Bols USA and Jacob Grier, Brand Ambassador & Key Accounts Specialist of Lucas Bols USA. In New York, special guest from Amsterdam—Lucas Bols Master Distiller, Piet van Leijenhorst—will join the tour. At each tour stop, the team will walk guests through the taste profile of the beer, Bols Genever and the Kopstootje. For more information, check out the Bols Genever Facebook page.