Lowlander Grand Cafe

Watering Hole

Lowlander Grand Cafe (a.k.a.’Lowlifer’)

The only bar to evict us for not drinking enough

Special Report by GTG Reviews Editor Round A.Bout

Originally published in the Grey Town Gazette April 2011 Edition


Comfort Zone

Conveniently located on this side of the channel, Lowlander offers a Belgian-Dutch drinking experience to London-based beer lovers. And by virtue of it’s Covent Garden address it offers the added bonus of being a perfect sanctuary for beer connoisseurs wishing to escape from a tedious musical, play or shopping expedition

The Beers

Lowlander’s well stocked cellar includes all the stalwart Belgian bottled beers – Westmalle, Duvel, Rochefort etc – and numerous draft brews which this reviewer confesses to rarely trying, but it’s also noteworthy for importing some more interesting lines from less well know brewers, such as ‘Hopus’ by Brasserie Lefebvre and the products of the Netherlander Texelse Bierbrouwerij. Be sure to check out their ‘Beers from the Cellar’ and ‘Hidden Treasures’ lists for other interesting things to try

Thankfully, Lowlander differs from actual Belgian and Dutch bars in one important respect: it serves a wide range of excellent meals and snacks

Lowlander is clearly run by people who know and love their beers and this extends to the helpful staff, all of whom are friendly and attentive, in particular the very knowledgeable Danish waitress from Preston

The bar can get very busy, which adds to the pleasurable buzz, but in the afternoon and at weekends there is usually a table or two free. On the negative side this reviewer and party did once have the bizarre experience of being turfed out at 8:15pm on a Sunday because ‘it was too quiet’. We of course immediately offered to drink extra to cover for the missing clients, but to no avail. So should you wish to drink there on a Sunday evening it might be wise to have a coach full of reserve drinkers on stand-by just in case they are needed

Grey Scale Rating: Platinum

Lowlander Grand Cafe, 36 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5RR



Featured Beverage

A great drink to enjoy at this month’s Watering Hole

Troubador Magma

Two Courses in One:  A hearty main, followed by a fruity desert

Troubadour Magma


Vital Statistics:

Creator:               Brouwerij The Musketeers BVBA

Style:                 Rich amber-brown Belgian Triple

Strength:              9% ABV

AI Value*:             9

Killer App:            A balanced meal in a bottle – recommended for

Medicinal Qualities:   Makes doctors redundant

Tasting notes:         Smacks you in the gob, then kisses you better

Grey Scale Rating**:   Platinum

Wt Index***:           9.2

Brew Basics


The young Brouwerij ‘The Musketeers’ was founded in 2000 by four ‘brew engineers’ who, according to their website, took inspiration from the adventurous French Musketeers of the 18th century and created their own brewing company

As for the beer’s name, again according to their website “the troubadours of the medieval times were young men wandering from village to village, from city to city, bringing with them joy, music, traditions, poetry, history and legends of other places”. Well, apart from the ‘young’ bit and lack of quantum mechanics it sounds a bit like a World Drinking Tour event after the first dozen or two rounds

They brew three beers: ‘Blond’, ‘Obscura’ (a dark beer with stout influences), and the ‘Magma’ featured here

What’s so special?

The Magma has a rich full body with pleasant bitter edge and refreshing passion fruit after-taste. Satisfying and refreshing

One note of caution: despite it’s generally beneficial medicinal qualities, like any good beer Magma doesn’t improve the memory. When this reviewer proudly announced the discovery of this pleasant beer WDT colleagues assured me I’d already tried it before. But then I never take reliable people seriously


Alcoholic Index AI*
A key parameter in the temporal equation defining (perceived) Drink Time. Ref. Alcohol Induced Time Dilation Effect, ‘Quantum Qorner’ GTG Dec 2009

Grey Scale Rating**
Official GTG product review rating scale: Coal (pants) Charcoal (bearable) Gravel (average) Ash (good) Platinum (ace)

Westmalle Tripel Relativity Index (Wt)***
This is the first GTG Downtime review to use our new higher precision rating system for alcoholic beverages, Wt. Regular readers may have noticed that we only ever rate drinks as Platinum. There’s a good reason for this: life is too short to drink poor booze, let alone write about it. So after initial samples we immediately reject all the dross and concentrate on the best stuff. But we realize you might want to know the relative quality of the platinum drinks…to know which are the ‘best of the best’ so to speak

Well luckily our Drink Scientists have come up with the answer: the Westmalle Tripel Relativity Index (Wt for short). This is like the Richter Scale, only more important and it rates the drinks on a scale of 0 to 10. Westmalle Tripel is 10 (of course) and to be platinum a drink must be in the range 9.0 – 10

Like warp-speed the system is exponential with 10 being the absolute physical limit in the normal universe (but be warned funny things can happen under the right quantum conditions – in special zones of unreality – and we will be writing about this after our next trip to St Sixtus)

GTG Downtime: Drinking for You!