The Good Brewer

image03-mainBy Alan Hope

You start to see signs of Huyghe brewery long before you get there. All along the road through East Flanders toward the village of Melle there appear, without a word of explanation, signs depicting a lurid pink elephant against a grey background. The signs can be seen from 100 metres away, and like the symbols of some ancient cult, they lead eventually to the centre of this strange devotion.

The Huyghe brewery in Melle, near Ghent, produced its first Delirium Tremens in 1989 to a recipe originally developed for a fair in Italy. Its name was a whim, the label designed in return for two cases of beer by an intern who wanted to make a mark. The brand is almost an anti-advertisement for alcohol consumption, but no matter: It is now one of the most recognisable in Belgium and, as time goes on, in much of the rest of the world as well.

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