When Stella Artois made a ‘Special Dutch’ version for a country that didn’t like the taste of beer

Stella Artois 'Special Dutch': a 'punchy' lager that wasn't that punchy.Back in the 1970s, the Leuven-based Artois brewery was at the top of its game in Belgium: in 1974 it churned out no less than 4 million hectolitres of its Stella Artois lager. All over Belgium, people ordered a Stella at the bar, because in the eyes of the average Belgian that equalled ‘ordering good beer’. There were some exports to France and in the UK it started to catch on. No doubt Holland was longing for it as well. Or so the people at Artois thought. (more…)

Trappist Lager from the Sheep Barn

Koningshoeven abbey - Label bieretiketten.nlAround 1891, a remarkable newcomer had appeared in the rapidly changing Dutch beer scene. That year, the brewers of the province of North Brabant wrote a request to no-one else but the pope. It read as follows: ‘Most holy Father! With deep respect the subscribers… ask for Your Fatherly blessing and permit themselves to tell Your Holiness that their business is seriously harmed by the practicing of a beer brewery by the Honourable Fathers Trappists.’[1] The brewers begged the pope to order the Trappists to stop brewing.