Brewing has been an integral part of life in the village of Hoegaarden, Belgium since 1318. From its humble beginnings in 1445, Hoegaarden witbier has grown to become globally recognized as the original Belgian wheat beer. Hoegaarden was originally brewed by the Begarden Monks who had settled in the area and introduced the use of herbs and spices. Its unique style is protected by the Brewers Guild, founded in 1500. The last brewery in Hoegaarden closed in 1950 and the Hoegaarden witbier style disappeared until it was relaunched in 1965.