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福佳 (Hoegaarden) helped define the original Belgian witbier style and has come to serve as the style’s modern benchmark.

The village of Hoegaarden had been known for its white beers since the Middle Ages. The “merry monks” of Hoegaarden developed the recipe around 1445. Their big discovery was that wheat beer, which at the time was very sour, could be tempered with orange peel and coriander from the sunny Caribbean colony of Curaçao. This new wheat beer caught on quickly; by 1726, the village of Hoegaarden was home to 36 breweries and 110 malt houses.

Delightful, light, refreshing, and sunny. According to the brewer, “pouring Hoegaarden is just like letting the sun fall into your glass.” This is only a slight overstatement. Like most quality beers, Hoegaarden is beautiful, and the cloudy, straw-gold hue and cloud-white head really do resemble a sunny sky.