Brewing giant brewer InBev announced today that it would close Belgium’s famous Hoegaarden brewery, long associated with classic “white beer.”
InBev, based in nearby Leuven and the largest beer producer in the world, said belt tightening would eliminate 232 jobs.
Production of Hoegaarden Grand Cru and other beers will move to InBev Jupille brewery in the south of Belgium, although the storage and bottling facilities will remain open.
Staff at the Hoegaarden brewery walked off the job after hearing the news on Wednesday, broadcaster VRT reported.
In the 1800s, Hoegaarden was a regional brewing center, with 30 breweries producing the famous “white beer.” By the 1950s no white beers were made there. In the 1960s, Pierre Celis revived the style, buying equipment from a defunct brewery and beginning production of his own “white beer.”
He eventually sold his brewery to Interbrew – which recently became part of InBev – and moved to Texas to found the now-defunct Celis Brewery.