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Mar 19, 2007 12:13 PM

Hoegaarden [moved from the Los Angeles board]

I read that Hoegaarden beer is made in a place called Hoegaarden, Belgium. If I ever return to Belgium, I would want to visit their factory and the town itself. :)

I definitely learned something about places that specialize in beer on this thread. Never knew there were so many places with a wide selection. :)

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  1. Hoegaaden's brewery was shut down last year. It's now done at an InBev brewery. Sorry.

    16 Replies
    1. re: gtring

      Really? :( The bottle of beer in my fridge, says, "Brewed and bottled in Hoegaarden, Belgium. Imported by InBev, Norwalk, CT." I don't really know much about it though.

      1. re: katkoupai

        The brewery closing is recent enough that you could have one of the last million bottles with that text. The current brewery / city is Jupille. The general consensus is that it has lost some complexity since the move, but such people sometimes put a price on history and romance.

        I preferred Celis' Blue Moon White, and I think Rhino Chasers may have had a White that I liked as well. Many moons ago.

        1. re: gtring

          Maybe they never changed the info on the bottles. I just bought the bottles within the last week or two.

          I read on Wikipedia that Hoegaarden closed their brewery in the same named town in 1995, and moved to Jupille, but I have no idea how reliable the info is.

          Thanks for letting me know, and also, I have never heard of the beers you mention (Celis and Rhino Chasers). They must be microbrews, right?

          1. re: katkoupai

            Pierre Celis founded Hoegaarden, and then opened up Celis Brewery in Austin, TX. Celis Brewery was then sold to Miller, which then closed it. Michigan Brewing Co. bought the rights, and now brews Celis Beer.

            Rhino Chasers was really a marketing company out of Culver City, CA. The contract brewer was Minnesota Brewing Co. Rhino Chasers lasted from 1989 to 1997.

            1. re: gtring

              Anyone know if Michigan Brewing revived the Celis Grand Cru? I only see the Celis White on their website.

              1. re: Professor Salt

                They're brewing White, Grand Cru, Pale Bock, Raspberry.

                1. re: Professor Salt

                  Since this thread was necromanced below, I think its appropriate to mention the never ending saga of the Celis brand:


              2. re: katkoupai

                Beers, especially imported beers (which are often giving a "best by" date of 1 year from bottling- way too much in my opinion for many beers) often sit in importers' and distributors' warehouses for a long time before they get to your retailer, were they sit some more. The Hoegaarden brewery was scheduled to close in Sept./Oct of last year, around the same time as Young's in the UK shut down. There's still a lot of Young's on the shelves (interesting to see which ones sold out sooner than others), so your Hoegaarden is probably from before the scheduled closing. (InBev was actually having a difficult time brewing the beer in the other brewery and, supposedly, the end was somewhat delayed.)

                There are strict legal rules about accurate listings on beer labels that importers must obey, tho', sadly the Feds have loosened those rules somewhat in recent years (at least, for US brewers).

                1. re: JessKidden

                  And brewers/importers are frequently given permission to use existing label stock after a change of location.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    Yup, that was part of the "loosening" I wrote of, but I couldn't recall a case when they did it for an import. I suppose it's possible, but when InBev (the largest brewer in the world) spends thousands to close a brewery, planned a year in advance, throwing people out of work, it seems a little disingenuous to go to the US gov't and ask if they could use these old labels up to save 14 bucks, rather than throw them in the paper recycling bin.

                    The odd thing about the closing of the Hoegaarden facility is that, after a quick Google, one can find a lot of stories about the announcement the year before, protests, etc., and then some mention of trouble InBev was having brewing the beer at the new site, a delay in the closing, but no story that says it definitely closed on such and such a day. And, it's still listed as open on InBev's site (big corporations usually like to erase the evidence ASAP).

              3. re: gtring

                You mean Coors' Blue Moon, no? Too sweet for my taste.

                I'm not sure if it's available in LA (I'd guess their reach isn't quite that far), but Allagash makes a very nice example of the Belgian white style.

                1. re: braineater

                  Another good one that avoids the sweetness problem nicely is Avery's White Rascal.

                  1. re: braineater

                    i have indeed heard many laud the Allagash wit. i think its OK. nowhere near the quality of Blue Moon, tho. i know that many shun blue moon cuz its brewed by Coors, etc. but, i dont know, i think blue moon is better even than hooergarden. i think the guys who created blue moon were just trying to make hoergarden in the US. really , i think they were totally and completely honest in it, too. but, to their credit, they overdid it and have created something even better i think.

                    1. re: ben61820

                      Blue Moon is infused with orange peel and coriander. Those are probably the flavors you find appealing.

                      1. re: mojoeater

                        hell yeah, those flavors sing right up front. love them. i like pretty much any beer labelled "wit" (as i think that usually means a primarily wheat-based brew with citrus and spices), i just find that Blue moon is always a great go-to. i mean, if i always had my druthers, i suppose i'd go for the venerable ommegang witte, but...

              4. re: gtring

                The move to Jupille.was never completed. The brewers in Jupille remained unsatisfied with local production of the witbier, so Inbev decided to keep the production in Hoegaarden.

                Hoegaarden beer is currently being promoted alongside Stella Artois and Leffe.


              5. If you do end up making it there, Belgium is like beer Disneyland. Such a huge variety of different beers/breweries. The Cantillon brewery in Brussels is a trip- we were there many years ago, and it was a self-guided tour around the building, which is definitely not OSHA approved. You could also visit some of the Trappist monasteries that brew.

                A lot of folks think that Celis White has slipped since Pierre's exodus and the beer's subsequent Michigan-based revival.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ted

                  I have to add a slice of orange to my Blue Moon (our fridge is never without it!...the beer)Beer is not the same without. If you are near a military base you can find these awesome beers!