Stella Artois is a Belgian pilsner of between 4.8 and 5.2% ABV which was first brewed by Brouwerij Artois (the Artois Brewery) in Leuven, Belgium, in 1926. Since 2008, a 4% ABV version is sold in Britain, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. Stella Artois is now owned by Interbrew International B.V. in the Netherlands, which is a subsidiary of the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV.
In 1708, Sébastien Artois became head brewer at the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, a brewery established in 1366. Artois purchased the brewery in 1717 and renamed it Brouwerij Artois.
In 1926, Brouwerij Artois launched Stella as a Christmas beer, named after the Christmas star. First sold in the winter season, it eventually became available year-round, with exports into the broad European market commencing in 1930. Production was halted for a period when Brouwerij Artois suspended operations during World War II. By 1960, about 100 million litres of Stella Artois were being produced annually. Whitbread began to brew it under contract in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1976.
In 1988, Brouwerij Artois was a founding member in the merger creating Interbrew. That year, Taylorbrands founder David Taylor created the current package design, bottle design, and shape. The original 1926 bottle label inspired the design, which replaced a 1960s design. The design incorporates the horn symbol and the 1366 date of the original Den Hoorn brewery. The label also shows medals for excellence awarded to Brouwerij Artois at a number of trade exhibitions in Belgium in the 19th and 20th centuries. The name Stella Artois is held within a "cartouche" which was influenced by the style of Belgian architecture in Leuven.
In 1993, Interbrew moved production of Stella Artois into a new, fully automated brewery in Leuven. In 2004, Interbrew was part of the merger creating InBev, and by 2006, total annual production volume of Stella Artois exceeded one billion litres.
In 2008, InBev was part of the merger creating the Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) brewery company. That same year, a lower-alcohol version, Stella Artois 4%, was introduced in the UK market. In 2011, a cider, Stella Artois Cidre, was launched.
In 2012, AB InBev reduced the alcohol content of their beers for the UK market, from 5% to 4.8%. The original UK strength of Stella Artois was 5.2%.
Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stella_Artois)