History of Delirium Tremens

Jun 14, 2018

History of Brouwerij Huyghe and Delirium Tremens

Ever since 1654 there has undoubtedly been some kind of brewing activity in the “Appelhoek” in Melle, Belgium. In 1902 Leon Huyghe arrived from Poperinge in Melle where he started working in the local brewery at the Appelhoek. Leon had always been fascinated by the world of brewing. Moreover, he was married to Delfina Van Doorselaer, a brewer’s daughter from Wolvertem. Barely four years later, in 1906 he bought the brewery which he named “Brouwerij-Mouterij den Appel.” During the First World War several breweries got into trouble and after the war the brewing-coopers, which occupying forces had claimed, had to be replaced as quickly as possible. In 1936 the construction of a new complex started in Geraardbergsesteenweg. These buildings contain the brewery hall, which is still the pride of the brewery.

In 1945 after some trial and error, Brouwerij Huyghe produced its first fine lager, “Golden Kenia,” named after a French barley variety. In 1948 the brewery started the production of water and lemonades under the brand name “Mell’s Drinks.” The brewery went through a huge expansion and in 1964 a modern bottle filling line was built. The brewery staggered through the 1960s and 70s with declining sales and beer styles however the brewery was radically reformed in 1985. The restructuring of the company was coupled with considerable financial investment and the production of traditional pilsen beer was switched to that of high fermentation beers. In 1987 the brewery starting bottle fermenting beers and introduced “Artevelde Grand Cru.”

On December 26, 1988, the famous “Delirium Tremens” was born. The particular character and the unique taste of “Delirium Tremens” results from the use of three different kinds of yeast. Its very original packaging, which resembles cologne ceramics, and the colorful label contribute to its success. In 1997, Delirium Tremens was nominated “Best Beer in the World” and received a gold medal during the World Beer Championships in Chicago. The title and gold medal has forever cemented the legacy of the pink elephant and Delirium Tremens.


Alcohol volume: 8.5% ABV
Color and sight: pale blond, the fine and regular effervesce ensures a fine and stable head.
Scent: Slightly malty, a nice touch of alcohol, spicy.
Flavor: Feels like the sound shot of alcohol is igniting the mouth. In reality the tongue and palate are warmed. The taste is characterized by its roundness. The aftertaste is strong, long-lasting and dry bitter.

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