Brewery ”Den Hoorn” has a long history it was first mentioned in 1366 in the city registers it shows that the brewers at that time already paid taxes. The company logo a horn has survived all that time too you can find it on the bottles of stella artois and on various bars hanging outside.
In June 1708 brewer Sebastian Artois get his master diploma from the Den Hoorn brewery. His sons took over the business later.
In 1926 the brewery made a special Christmas beer, they named it Stella Artois (Stella means star in Latin) the beer was so good; it was sold all year round. This beer is still brewed in Leuven. The Stella Artois brewery moved to the other side of the Leuven Canal and the old Den Hoorn brewery is left abandoned.
Some buildings got demolished but some like the main brewery hall got reconverted to an event hall. more info here.
The brewery of Stella Artois in the brewery De Hoorn, circa 1930 © Oude Brouwerij De Hoorn
Investing in machines was expensive. Therefore, it was not possible for most small family businesses. But at the same time it was necessary to face the domestic and foreign competitiveness. The result of this stalemate was concentration: many small businesses formed one major, which could continue to grow by investing.
Between 1880 and 1947, the number of sugar factories fell in Belgium from 40 to 8. In 1880 there were about 2500 breweries, in 1947 still 716. The Artois Brewery was by far the largest in Belgium.
In 1926, on the occasion of Christmas, Stella Artois-pils were brewed for the first time. Thanks to the success of the pils, the brewery, which had already bought several Leuven breweries, could subsequently buy several other national and later international breweries.