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Wit, or white, bier is a pale golden, tart, refreshing style thick with sediment and with a high level of carbon dioxide. With the pale malts, unmalted wheat and lack of filtration it's no surprise that it bares some resemblance to German HefeWiesse. The greatest different between Wit and its German cousin is the addition of spices, classically coriander and bitter Curacao orange peel.
In the 1800s, Hoegaarden was one of the most significant brewing centers in Belgium, with 30 breweries producing Wit bier. Unfortunately, time chipped away at this situation and by the mid 1950s only a few were still in production.
In the early 60s Pierre Celis took upon himself to resurrect this all but dead style. He bought equipment and applied skills picked up having helped out at a local brewery that made Wit and founded the De Kluis brewery. This reintroduction of white beer went very well as Hoegaarden Wit took off. This story has a great ending - Celis moved to Austin, Texas were he established the Celis Brewery. He has since returned to Belgium, but only after leaving the legacy of his wonderful brewing skills.