The oldest brewery in activity in Ghent
Ever since 1654 there has undoubtedly been some kind of brewing activity in the “Appelhoek” in Melle.
In 1902, Léon Huyghe settled in Melle. 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-coppers, which the occupying forces had claimed, had to be replaced as quickly as possible. (Nowadays, one of those coppers hangs above the bar in the museum as a kind of decorating dome). In 1938, the brewery was renamed “SPRL Brasserie Léon Huyghe” .
In 1939, the new buildings along the Geraardsbergsensteenweg were finished. They contain the new brewery-hall, which is still the pride of the brewery.
When the brewery was radically reformed in 1985, production and company divisions were formed. 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. For the first time, export was considered. On July 5th 1985, the amber beer “Artevelde” was put on the market.
Jean et Alain DeLaet
In 1987, the brewery started fermenting beer in the bottle, by producing the ” Artevelde grand cru”.
On December 26th 1989, the famous “Delirium Tremens” was born. The particular character and the unique taste of “Delirium Tremens” result from the use of three different kinds of yeast. Its very original packing, which resembles cologne ceramics, and the colourful label contribute to its success. The label depicts the different phases of the production of “Delirium Tremens” the “Pink Elephant” was up and ready to conquer the world. To celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution in 1989, the topical beer “La Guillotine” was launched.
In 1990, “Blanche des Neiges” was created for the demand of the American market.
In 1992, the “confrerie of the pink Elephant” was founded. Its task is to promote “Delirium Tremens” and the other beers of Melle. The brewery Huyghe took over the breweries “Campus”, “St Idesbald” and “Vielle Villers”.
In 1993, the production of fruit-beers of the “Floris” range was started. It contains, for example, beers made from cherries, raspberries or apples.
In 1996, the first part of the museum opened its doors.
In 1997, our show-beer “Delirium Tremens” is nominated “best beer in the world”. A gold medal during the “world beer championships” in Chicago (1998) confirmed that worldwide recognition.
In 2001, the first fair trade-beer “Mongozo” was brewed. Nowadays, the “Delirium-Café”, continues the dream of the pink Elephant all over the world.