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Records suggest the recipe was first discovered in around 1445. This region of Belgium was part of the Netherlands at the time and the first brewers had access to exotic herbs and spices imported from the Dutch colonies. Records suggest the first wheat beers were intensely sour and this is partly what may have led the first brewers to their creative blending with coriander and curaçao orange peel, developing the world famous wheat beer recipe.
Over hundreds of years the brewing industry in Hoegaarden village grew and by the 18th century there were 36 breweries and 110 malting houses, brewing up to 25,000 hectolitres per year. It brought great wealth to the surrounding area. However the post-World war economy and the rise of clear lagers took their toll and brought about the closure of the last wheat beer brewery in 1957.
In 1965, Pierre Celis, the village milkman revived the famous beer much to the delight of locals. It soon became a huge success. He named his first brewery "De Kluis" in acknowledgment of the monks who helped the villagers to create the great brewing tradition of Hoegaarden.
By 1985 Celis was fulfilling up to 75,000 hectoliters per year when disaster struck. A fire destroyed the brewery and no banks were willing to fund the rebuild. Finally, the brewers of Stella Artois offered to help in return for a share in the business. The relationship led to the rebuilding of the Hoegaarden brewery and the continuation in Hoegaarden wheat beer’s production. Interbrew, the international brewing company (now known as Anheuser-Busch InBev), eventually took on the brewery management full time in 1987. Celis finally took his retirement at 65, trading in the remainder of his shares, and AB InBev have looked after the production of Hoegaarden wheat beer ever since.
Today 9 out of every 10 glasses of wheat beer sold in Belgium are Hoegaarden wheat beers and since the 1990s, AB InBev have worked to ensure that Hoegaarden is exported and available all across Europe, North America, Australia, Singapore and China to name just a few. Hoegaarden today receives awards and acclaim from all over the world.


(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoegaarden_Beer) www.hoegaarden.com Hoegaarden JPG 1211x572 logo