Stella Artois is so delightful, crisp, sophisticated; akin to the gentlemen crusader which is why I think I enjoy it so well. A little search on Wikipedia shows that tax records exist from 1366 for Leuven's Den Horen ("The horn") Brewery. In 1708, Sebastianus Artois became the master brewer at Den Horen, and gave his name to the brewery in 1717.It may not be the oldest beer but it is pretty historic.
I know it sounds a bit far fetched because the popular Crusades ended in 1272 with the culmination of the 9th Crusade. However there were other crusades that came after that; here are a few.
The Alexandrian Crusade of October 1365 was a minor seaborne crusade against Muslim Alexandria led by Peter I of Cyprus.
The Mahdian Crusade of Summer 1390 was a French-Genoese enterprise against Muslim pirates in North Africa and their main base at Mahdia led by Louis II, Duke of Bourbon.
The Siege of Belgrade in 1456
Crusades in the Balkans
To counter the expanding Ottoman Empire, several crusades were launched in the 15th century. The most notable are:
the Crusade of Nicopolis (1396) organized by Sigismund of Luxemburg, king of Hungary, culminated in the Battle of Nicopolis
the Crusade of Varna (1444) led by the Polish-Hungarian king, Władysław Warneńczyk, ended in the Battle of Varna
and the Crusade of 1456 organized to lift the Siege of Belgrade led by John Hunyadi and Giovanni da Capistrano.
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of southern European Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece. The victory of the Holy League prevented the Mediterranean Sea from becoming an uncontested highway for Muslim forces and helped to prevent the Ottomans from advancing further along the Mediterranean flank of Europe. All the Fleet prayed the Rosary and was granted VICTORY!!!
Also let us remember that the Re-Conquest of Spain was still being fought up until 1492 and the subsequent voyages of Columbus and the colonization of the New World would lead to a new Crusade all together. The Conversion of Souls to the One, Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church; the Bride of Christ!
So as we all take a drink from the proverbial well of refreshment, let us not only seek the refreshing taste of Stella Artois but also of the Teachings of Christ handed down to us by Holy Mother Church.