Patrick De Wael
Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Lambic Fruit Beer
Huyghe Brewery is located at “Appelhock” in Melle, Beligum, a site which has housed brewing activity since 1654.
In 1902, Leon Huyghe arrived in Melle and married the daughter of a brewer. Four years later, he bought the historic local brewery and named it “Brouwerij-Mouterij den Appel.” It survived the First World War, which many breweries did not. As a tribute, there is a copper brewing kettle from the period hanging above the bar in the museum as a decorative dome.
In 1936, new buildings were added, including one that houses the brewery hall. Two years after the expansion, the Huyghe family renamed the brewery to its eponymous name, “SPRL Brasserie Leon Huyghe.”
Over the years, Huyghe has made a range of beer styles, but saw an opportunity for something new in the mid-80s. In 1985, they changed their technique by switching from bottom fermentation to top fermentation to introduce high alcohol ales.
On December 26th, 1988 Delirium Tremens was born. The beer develops its unique taste from the use of three different kinds of yeast and is usually around 8.5% alcohol. The recognizable pink elephant was added to the label in 1992 and is now included on the labels of the newer Delirium beers.
Delirium Tremens went on to win several awards including a nomination as “the best beer in the World” in 1997 and a gold medal at the World Beer Championships in Chicago in 1998, gaining international recognition.
In 1999, the brewery started making Delirium Nocturnum and in 2000, the brewery was renovated to accommodate larger production equipment. 10 years later, Delirium Red was introduced.
Pink label Delirium Deliria Belgian Blond Ale was first sold in 2013 to pay homage to female brewers worldwide and to celebrate International Women’s Day. Today, the beer continues to be brewed yearly by women and in 2021, the label bore the National Breast Cancer Foundation logo.
The fourth-generation family brewery continues the pink elephant-label legacy through the addition of more beers in the Delirium line, including holiday seasonal Delirium Noel.