Leuven, DATE – Brouwerij De Hoorn, the master brewery of Stella Artois, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. AB InBev celebrated this anniversary with a whole week of festivities. From 6 to 10 November, various events took place, giving Leuven residents the chance to get to know the De Hoorn brewery and AB InBev better: from a party in the old buildings, to guided tours of the existing brewery and even an exclusive beer pairing dinner prepared by a top chef. The celebratory week culminated with a centenary celebration on the Friday evening where revelers danced between the old brewing kettles. There were also celebrations outside Leuven, with special editions of Stella Artois cans and vintage glasses distributed in more than 1,000 catering establishments across Belgium.
In 2023, De Hoorn Brewery is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Stella Artois was brewed for the first time in that brewery, three years after its opening. To celebrate the brewery’s birthday, De Hoorn, in collaboration with AB InBev, organized a real party week (from 6 to 10 November) with all kinds of activities for the people of Leuven.
All Leuven households received an invitation for a tour of the old or new Stella Artois brewery. There was even an extra surprise for 100 lucky people. They received a golden ticket and had the opportunity to attend an exclusive dinner by Leuven top chef, Kwinten de Paepe, during the celebratory week. During that dinner, the food was paired with matching AB InBev beers.
The anniversary week started on Monday, 6 November, with a ceremonial opening in the presence of the City council, the De Hoorn team and the brewmaster of AB InBev. On 8 and 9 November guided tours of both the De Hoor brewery as well as the new brewery were offered to Leuven residents. “We were very happy to welcome the people of Leuven to our brewery. Many people pass the Leuven Vaartkom every day, but do not know what history lies behind the walls of the iconic buildings. The brewery is so anchored locally that we thought it was important to involve the people of Leuven and give them the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes. ” said Olivier Maillet, brewery director of AB InBev Leuven.
One highlight of the anniversary week was the centenary celebration of ‘Centenaire’ on Friday, 10 November. During the evening everyone could party and dance between the old brewing kettles in De Hoorn.
The party also continued outside Leuven with a limited edition vintage edition of the Stella Artois 44 cl cans which were available in the supermarket and special vintage glasses to bring the anniversary party to bars and cafés across Belgium.
The building of the De Hoorn brewery has had various guises throughout its 100 years of existence. And although brewing activities there have ceased since the 1980s, the iconic building on the Leuven Vaartkom remains an important symbol for the growth of AB InBev. In 2012, after years of closure, De Hoorn opened its doors again, at the initiative of seven entrepreneurial Leuven residents, this time not as a brewery but as a vibrant hospitality hub where you can find a restaurant, bar, lofts, a co-working space and office space as well as event rooms and meeting rooms. That rich history and the different guises of De Hoorn were a central part of the celebratory week.