Hoegaarden is probably the best known Belgian white beer. It is a wheat beer with an aroma of orange peel, coriander and spice. It is a sweet and sour beer with some distinct hints of citrus. It has an alcohol content of 4.9%.
This Hoegaarden beer is well-known all over the world, but it has had quite a bumpy history. The town of Hoegaarden has been famous for its white beers for several centuries. At some moment in history, the town counted no less than nine breweries who all brew their own version of this white beer. But that tradition came in danger when one brewery after the other stopped their activities. In 1957, when the last brewery was about to close, one man, Pierre Celis, came into action.
He bought the brewery and turned a small struggling brewery into a very successful company with customers all over the world. In 1985, he was more or less forced to sell his brewery to beer giants Interbrew and he moved to the USA where he started a new brewery, Celis White.
The Hoegaarden beer is still in the hands of Interbrew (although now called AB Inbev) and it is still popular as ever. Nowadays there are also a lot a fruit flavored versions on the market. That trend started emerging some ten years ago and Hoegaarden was quick to follow it. Hoegaarden Rosee was the first of this kind, it is a white beer with some added raspberry juice.