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The art of white beer brewing was thanks to the work of monks living in the small Belgian town of Hoegaarden, they discovered the recipe in 1445 (as the bottle suggests). Hoegaarden's monks were so good at their job of making beer and wine that at one point in time there was over 30 small farmhouse breweries in the small town which is less than a hour away from the well known Brussels. However there was great odds against these white beer breweries, with the competition from the lager industry and both World Wars causing theft from them. The last Hoegaarden brewery closed down in 1957.

However nine years later, a milkman by the name of Pierre Celis, who was talking with his friends about how they missed the old white beer. With this Pierre Celis who used to live next door to the brewery decided it was time to bring back the style. With financial help from his father and brewing help from a veteran brewer he started a small farmhouse brewer he called, The Cloister (or more commonly known as De Kluis, in Flemish).


Hoegaarden's Father - Pierre Celis

The success of his revival of this great beer was shown by the amount of production. It was just 350 hectolitres when it was opened in 1966, it then rapidly grew to about 75,000 hectolitres by 1985. This was a great achievement for the brewery, it was so successful that many other breweries attempted to brew their own white beers. They never managed to even rival the greatness of the original Hoegaarden though.

Once again disaster struck down on the white beer industry. Most of the plant was destroyed by a fire in 1985. To rebuild the plant Pierre Celis had to get extra investment, he found this with Interbrew, the company which also owns Stella Artois. These brewery giants eventually took over the Hoegaarden brewery in 1987.

Now Hoegaarden has a second brewhouse and production in 1997 was recorded as 855,000 hectolitres. There is now regular exports of the drink into Britain and it is rising in popularity greatly, with more and more pubs taking up the drink to sell.

The legend Pierre Celis, the creator of this amazing drink is still alive today. After selling to Interbrew he moved to Texas, America where he continued his great skill of brewing by opening a new brewery, the Celis Brewery, where he produced the beer, Celis white in his brewery in Austin, Texas.
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