Stella Artois is a 5% ABV lager originating from Leuven, Belgium, predominantly brewed in the United Kingdom. It is named Stella after the Latin word for "star". It is made of water, barley malt, hops, non-malted grains and yeast, all of the best quality. It has a light taste and is considered a home drink or a drink for week ends.
Pilsner lagers such as Stella Artois head the list for domestic consumption, making up almost 75% of Belgian beer production. Stella is promoted as an international brand by its brewer, AB InBev. In its home market of Belgium, however, it is marketed, priced and sold as a regular lager. Despite its success internationally, the top selling beer in Belgium is Jupiler.
In the UK, Canada and New Zealand a 4% ABV version is also available. This variant was launched to compete alongside fellow Inbev lager Beck's Vier and to address negative associations of the brand.
Olivier Adams who is the heir to the Stella fortune is co-founder of the Belgian band Lords of Acid.
Stella Artois is brewed in Belgium (both in the plants of Leuven and Jupille) and the United Kingdom, as well as other countries, including Australia, Brazil and Ukraine. Much of the brew exported from Europe is currently produced at InBev's brewery in Belgium, and packaged in the Beck's Brewery in Bremen, Germany. Stella Artois is also brewed in Abbotsford, Victoria by Foster's Group for the Australian market under license from InBev. In the United States, Stella Artois is imported and distributed by Anheuser-Busch. For the Hungarian market, Stella Artois is also brewed in Bőcs, Hungary by Borsod Brewery under license from InBev.
The Anno 1366 on the Stella Artois logo refers to the origin of brewing in the city of Leuven. The city's tax records dated 1366 mention the existence of a local brewpub called Den Hoorn, ('Hoorn' in Dutch meaning 'Horn' in English, as is represented in the logo on the beer label). The name Artois was coupled to the brewery in 1708, when new owner Sebastian Artois achieved the title of master brewer. The frame that surrounds the name Stella Artois on the label refers to the traditional style of window frame found in Flemish architecture.
Stella Artois is available on draught and in several packaged sizes, including a 275 ml bottle, 284 ml bottle, 330 ml bottle, 330 ml can, 440 ml can, 500 ml can, pint size can known as "La Grande Bière" (568 ml), 660 ml bottle, 700 ml bottle, 985 ml bottle, and a 1 litre bottle.
Tax records exist from 1366 for Leuven's Dennis Horeney's Brewery. In 1708, Sebastianus Artois became the master brewer at Den Horen, and gave his name to the brewery in 1717.
In 1926, Stella Artois was launched initially as a seasonal beer especially for the Christmas holiday market. It was first sold in Canada and it was such a commercial success that the brand became available year round and, apart from the duration of the Second World War, has been produced ever since. The first Stella Artois beer was exported to the European market in 1930. By 1960, 100 million litres of Stella Artois was being produced annually. InBev opened a new fully automated brewery in Leuven in 1993, and by 2006, total production volume was over a billion litres annually.
The current package design and bottle design and shape was created in 1988 by David Taylor, founder of Taylorbrands. The design replaced a 1960s design and is inspired by the original 1926 bottle label. The design incorporates the horn symbol of the Den Horen brewery and the date 1366 which is the date of the earliest recorded brewing in Leuven. The label also shows medals for excellence awarded to the brewery at a number of trade exhibitions in Belgium in the 19th and 20th century. The name Stella Artois is held within a "cartouche" which was influenced by the style of Belgian architecture of Leuvenes.
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Stella Artois, en.wikipedia.org
Belgian Brewery Visits: Stella Artois, www.suite101.com
Stella Artois, beeradvocate.com
Stella Artois, www.ratebeer.com