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Over hundreds of years, the village’s brewing industry grew. In 1709, the town boasted 12 breweries and it proved to be a golden century in the town’s history. The wealth of the region continued to grow and by 1726, Hoegaarden possessed 36 breweries and over 110 malting houses.
By the end of the 19th century, Hoegaarden was a true brewing centre with 36 breweries in a village of only 2,000 inhabitants. Hoegaarden’s long-term prosperity seemed guaranteed, but the world was moving on. The post-World War II economy, industrial production, new refrigeration techniques, and the rise of clear lagers all took their toll. The ‘lager revolution’ pulled most of the global market away from traditional wheat beer and in 1957, Tomsin, the last wheat beer brewery in Hoegaarden, closed its doors.
Hoegaarden has survived through good times and bad, owing its success to a few special individuals, a resilient Belgian spirit and, of course, a truly unique taste that simply stands the test of time.