A glass of Stella Beer next to the title "Stella Artois meaning"

Stella Artois Meaning: The Fascinating Story Behind The Stella Artois Name

The name Stella Artois is synonymous with lager and is a household brand name throughout the world. But what exactly does Stella Artois mean?

Keep reading to find out more details about the meaning and origin of the brand name Stella Artois and the meaning of the other things you can find on the Stella Artois label, such as “Anno 1366” and the musical instrument on top of the logo.

The Meaning And Origin Of “Artois”

To understand the meaning of “Artois” which makes up half of the Stella Artois name, you’ll need to know a bit of history about the brand.

In 1717, Sebastian Artois bought the Den Hoorn brewery, where he had worked as a brewmaster since 1708. Nine years after purchasing the brewery, Sebastian Artois passed away, at which point his wife, Barbara Hermans, took over the brewery. In 1733, Sebastian Artois’ son Adrian Artois took over the Den Hoorn brewery and ran it for the next 50 years.

As you can see, the name “Artois” comes from Sebastian Artois. However, it wasn’t until 1925, almost 200 years after Sebastian Artois’ death, that Stella Artois was first brewed under the code name ‘X’. In 1926, “Stella Artois” was registered as a trademark, and the beer was introduced as a Christmas beer, with “Stella” referring to the Christmas star (Source).

The Meaning Of “Stella” in Stella Artois

The word “Stella” in Stella Artois means “star”. Originally, Stella Artois was released as a Christmas beer, and so “Stella” is actually named after the Christmas star. As the popularity of this beer grew, Stella Artois became a year-round beer instead of just a Christmas one, but the name stayed the same.

Many people assume that the word “Stella” is French. However, despite the beer being Belgian and closely associated with the French-speaking part of Belgium, the term “Stella” itself is not French but Latin.

Using Latin in historical and scholarly contexts is a common practice and is also often used in branding to evoke a sense of tradition and quality.

The Meaning Of “Anno 1366” On The Stella Artois Label

A close Up Of A Stella Artois Can Showing the label and the words "Anno 1366"

If you look at each bottle/can of Stella Artois, you’ll find the words “Anno 1366”. “Anno” means “in the year” in Latin. You may recognize this word from “Anno Domini” (A.D) which is used in the Gregorian calendar to refer to the years following the traditional birth of Jesus.

So, “Anno 1366” means “In the year 1366” and is a reference to the year that the original Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, was established. Although Stella Artois was not created until 1925/1926, the brewery that invented Stella Artois can be traced back to 1366.

The Meaning Of The Instrument On The Stella Artois Label

One more thing you might notice on your Stella Artois label is a musical instrument. This instrument is a French Horn and is a reference to the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, where the brewing tradition associated with Stella Artois began. “Den Hoorn” translates to “The Horn” in Dutch, and the horn symbol has been associated with the brewery since its early days.