What Kind of Beer is Stella Artois? Revealed (2023 Guide)

Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Lydia Martin

The Den Hoorn Brewery before is now the well-known Stella Artois. Although its name may imply that it is a French lager, this is actually a Belgian beer.

It is one of the oldest known breweries in the world, and it produces various other beverages, but most notably its self-titled lager. 

But what kind of beer is Stella Artois? Read on. 

Understanding Stella Artois’ Beer Type 

Man Holding Stella Artois' Beer

Stella Artois was first crafted as a Belgian beer, mainly a pale lager. It has a light gold color (3-4 SRM) and a floral aroma.

This international pale lager is known for its high IBU (20 to 40) or bitterness and high carbonation with around 4.6% to 5.2% alcohol content. It is bottom-fermented instead of the usual top-fermented. 

Read: What’s A Draft Beer?

Is Stella Artois A Lager?

Stella Artois is a beer classified as a lager since it is produced using a bottom-fermenting process. 

We will use the Beer Judge Certification Program’s scale to classify Stella Artois accurately. And according to the BJCP, Stella Artois is regarded as a pale lager.

This is due to its IBU of 20 to 40, SRM of 3 to 4, and the bottom-fermenting brewing process. 

But in some cases, Stella Artois is referred to as a European-style pale lager (which makes sense since the beer is from Belgium). 

Others refer to it as a “pilsner,” a distinct term for pale lagers.

“Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.”

– Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President

What Makes Stella Artois A Belgian Lager?

How It’s Made

Pouring Stella Artois' Beer on a Glass

Brewing Process

Stella Artois undergoes several steps to ensure consistency throughout the brewing process. The ingredients are selected to create a balanced taste profile. 

They’re then blended together through a process known as a mashup, allowing the flavors to combine before the fermentation begins.

Read: What’s A Session Beer?


As always mentioned, Stella Artois is bottom-fermented. The yeast used in the brew undergoes bottom-fermenting at colder temperatures (around 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). 

This fermentation process ranked Stella Artois as a lager. 

The building where the fermentation takes place has 72 tanks. Stella Artois takes around 20 days to produce. 


Pouring Stella Artois' Beer on a Glass

Stella Artois is brewed using four ingredients: maize, malted barley, hops, and water. 

Stella Artois is unique from other lagers because it uses special hops — the finest Saaz hops. This is the reason behind Stella Artois’ floral profile. 

Fun Fact: One of the four noble hop cultivars, Saaz hops have a long history of being around for over a thousand years.

Alcohol Content

The alcohol content of Stella Artois is around 4.6% to 5.2% ABV (with an average of around 5%). 

A beer is classified as lager if it has an alcohol content of around 4.8% to 5.5%. So, Stela Artois, with around 5% ABV, is clearly classified as lager. 

Note: Stella Artois is sold in the US with a 5% alcohol by volume (ABV). But, it has an ongoing identity crisis since some reports claim that the company has reduced the alcohol content [1] in the past couple of years to 4%. 

Tasting Notes

Stella Artois' Beer in Can


Stella Artois has a neat and crisp palate. It tastes like canned tomatoes and creamed corn, which is really noticeable.

“As a beer enthusiast, we’ve tried our fair share of brews from all around the world. But when it comes to Stella Artois, it’s in a league of its own.” – Liquor Laboratory


Regarding the scent of Stella Artois, expect sweet herbal notes with a light malt aroma. The sweet cereal and a few hops are present, but it’s not overpowering. 

Read: Lager & IPA Comparison


This lager beer has a pale golden straw color and a small amount of bubbly head that dissipates in a minute.


The sweetness of this drink lingers on the back palate, and the crisp bite adds to its overall flavor. The herbs and hops also leave a lasting impression after swallowing.

In short, Stella Artois is a Belgian-style beer with a wonderful floral aroma and perfect paired with food. 

Its crisp hop bitterness and balanced malt flavor make it an excellent choice for any occasion.

Read: Stout vs Lager


What beer is Stella Artois similar to?

The beers similar to Stella Artois are Harp Lager, Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Budweiser, Pilsner Urquell, Jupiler, Heineken, Blue Moon, Hoegaarden, and Crown Lager.   

Who owns Stella Artois?

Stella Artois is currently owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev [2]. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch was purchased by the Belgian company, Inbev, resulting in the creation of AB InBev, which became one of the world’s top five consumer goods organizations.

In Summary 

Stella Artois is a type of beer lager, though some people consider it a Pilsner. It’s similar to most lagers — white head, crisp, thin, light golden colored. 

Its brewing and fermentation process (bottom-fermented), alcohol content, and bitterness make Stella Artois a beer lager. 



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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