Beer and sunshine are meant for each other. You will understand why as you sip on your ice-cold refreshing drink with those warm rays hitting your skin. Stella Artois Solstice Lager is made for this, and this review and guide will help you determine if it is the right beer for you.
The golden lager offers a crisp finish as you sip on the smooth triple-filtered beverage. The company chose to create this beer specifically for the hot summer days. As it is named after the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, the drink is your perfect companion on those blissful days.
The Solstice variation originally joined the Stella Artois lineup as a seasonal offering. However, it just tastes too good to be kept in hibernation. The drink can now be purchased all year round by beer lovers in more than 80 countries across the globe. Continue reading our Stella Artois Solstice lager review to find out if it’s right for you.
The Pros and Cons of Stella Artois Solstice Lager
Beer lovers are split on this lager as some see it as an average offering in Belgium. While others (particularly in the US) deem it to be a superior import for the classier drinkers. Then some Europeans view it as a rowdy beer that leads to pub brawls.
Either way, the superior brewing process uses only the finest ingredients to craft this delightful beer. So, is it good enough to add to your fridge of favorites?
You can decide after learning the highs and lows of this popular lager.
- Light barley aroma
- A decent white head
- 4.5% ABV, which is perfect for daytime drinking
- Low carbonation pairs well with food
- Tasting notes include a hint of citrus
- Provides a crisp and clean finish
- The company consistently donates to water.org
- Some may find it too watery
- The beer turns flat quite quickly
- The small head disappears quickly
- Some Stella Artois beers are brewed in the US. Leading to distinctly different characteristics than the imported variations.
The Ingredients in Stella Artois Solstice Lager
Stella Artois Solstice Lager consists of three simple ingredients:
- Hop extract
That’s it. These three ingredients offer a healthier beer for health-conscious shoppers who prefer a simple drink without unnecessary additives. The light lager is not only light in ingredients, but it also won’t make you feel too bloated and heavy after drinking a few.
This small list of ingredients results in a bottle containing only 105 calories and 4.5 g of carbs per 11.2 fluid ounces. There is no protein or fat in the Stella Artois Solstice Lager.
The Stella Artois Solstice Lager may be the company’s attempt to shift away from the rowdy reputation it was given. Due to the high alcohol content of the original offerings. Containing only 4.5% ABV, the Solstice drink is a great light beer to enjoy if your aim is not to get drunk.
This is why the golden lager is a great combination with a hot summer’s day, as you pull out a bottle to quench your thirst. Whether you are doing chores around the house, having a relaxed business meeting, or relaxing with friends on holiday, the Solstice provides a zesty drink to enjoy.
The Look and Taste
The Solstice Lager from Stella Artois offers a rich golden color mimicking the color of the sun on a hot summer day. The crisp lager offers a smooth and carbonated pour with a thick white head.
However, some people found that the beer, brewed locally and not imported, offers a weak head that fizzles out within seconds of pouring.
Stella Artois boasts a triple-filtered lager with this offering, and while some attribute this to the smooth taste, others say it has removed too much carbonation in the process.
The smell is described by many as having a zesty lemony smell with hints of white bread, spices, and sweet honey. While the taste is similar to a thin cereal grain flavor followed by hints of zesty citrus and honey.
The taste is overall light and smooth, which brings down the temperature on those scorching hot days.
The History of Stella Artois
Beer was becoming well-established in Leuven, Belgium by 1366. This is the year that can be found inscribed at the top of the Stella Artois branding on the products. It is also when the Den Hoorn brewery is believed to have been established.
This starting point is the reason why Stella Artois boasts over 600 years of brewing experience since the Artois family was directly involved in the brewery.
The Artois Family
The first appearance of Artois is seen in the early 1700s. It was then that a young brewer from Den Hoorn brewery was named as brewmaster by the Leuven Brewers Guild. The brewer, Sebastian Artois, later bought the brewery in 1717.
The company was taken over by his wife after his passing. It was then passed on to his son, who took over the reins at 22 years old.
Adrian Artios then left the Artois breweries to his only surviving child, Jeanne Marie. The entire inheritance, which included the breweries, was then given to the manager of the breweries, who was also a family friend, Albert Manref.
Before the original Den Hoorn breweries were destroyed in 1914 during World War I, a company was registered under the name NV Brouwerijen Artois. This was used when the new breweries were built in the post-war era as a tribute to the original Den Hoorn breweries.
The First Stella Artois Beer
The Stella Artois name was eventually trademarked in 1926. The first beer under the name was released later in the year in time for Christmas.
Stella is the Latin word for Star, and the brand used this term as a reference to the Christmas Star. This was fitting as the brand was originally created to deliver quality beer to Leuven locals around holiday time only.
The beer was just too good since the brand is now found across the world and is sold all year round due to its popularity. While imports to other European countries began in the 1960s, the beer is now exported across the globe to over 80 countries.
The Company Now
The Stella Artois brand could be found within the Inbev portfolio until 2008, when Inbev set its sights on acquiring Anheuser-Busch.
The merger created the largest brewer in the world, known as Anheuser-Busch Inbev, with its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. The home of the original Den Hoorn brewery.
Stella Artois began expanding its range while keeping its tradition of seasonal offerings. Such as their festive offering in 2018 called L’Heritage Artois. The lager was sold in champagne-style bottles with a high ABV of 6.5%.
The Solstice offering was another attempt at a seasonal offering which again was too good for hiding away until special occasions.
Launched in December 2019, the limited-edition golden lager was popular amongst premium beer drinkers. Only a year later, the parent company Anheuser-Busch Inbev decided to make it a permanent offering.
As of 2021, Stella Artois has expanded by opening up breweries in the US. While this means that the beer will not be imported from breweries in Belgium, the company has stated that all breweries will be overseen by brewmasters with a strict order to keep the quality taste across the board.
A Commitment to Giving Back
Stella Artois has recently been linked to popular celebrity Matt Damon due to the company’s commitment to helping struggling communities.
Water.org is a nonprofit organization operating internationally and was founded by Matt Damon and Gary White. The organization aims to provide communities around the world by providing access to safe water and sanitation.
Stella Artois has pledged to donate $3.13 for every Stella Artois chalice that is sold through the initiative. This donation per chalice is enough to supply one person with access to clean water for five years.
The special edition Chalice was created for this project and designed by watercolor artist Eili-Kaija Kussniem, who implemented elements of water in the unique design.
The Full Stella Artois Portfolio
The brand has a range of lager for consumers to choose from, which include the following:
Stella Artois Lager
The original lager from Stella Artois offers a well-balanced lager with sweet malt, slightly bitter hops, and a soft and dry finish.
The beer, which consists of 5% ABV, 141 calories, 10.9 g of carbs, and no sugar per 11.2 fluid ounces, won the World Beer Award for the World’s Best International Lager in 2019.
The Petite Lager
This product is simply the original Stella Artois lager in a smaller bottle. The 7-ounce bottle provides a smaller drink to ensure your lager is kept colder for longer. It contains the normal 5% ABV along with 94 calories and 9 g of carbs per 7 fluid ounces.
Stella Artois Cidre
This full-bodied product was crafted based on a European-styled cider. The drink offers hints of sweet flavors with a bold dryness in the gluten-free offering.
The cider is made using natural flavors with only 4.5% ABV. The beverage consists of 180 calories and 22 g carbs per 12 fluid ounces.
Stella Artois Midnight Lager
The Stella Artois Midnight Lager is another seasonal offering from the brand which is being brought back due to popular demand. The well-balanced beer is a tribute to the 600 years of brewing experience of the company.
The beer offers intriguing flavor notes which mix dark chocolate, with a bold taste of freshly brewed espresso, finishing it off with a hint of smoky flavors. The beer consists of a strong 5.4% ABV, with 179 calories and 18 g of carbs per 11.2 fluid ounce.
The Stella Artois 3-Step Pouring Ritual
To truly enjoy any Stella Artois lagers, you should be pouring your drink into a chalice using the three-step pouring method outlined by the company.
Step 1: The Pour
Start by keeping the chalice one inch away from the tap at a 45-degree angle when pouring. Slowly straighten the chalice as the pour gets closer to the rim.
Step 2: The Skim
Allow the foam to overflow slightly before picking up the skimmer. Keeping it at a 45-degree angle, gently skim the foam to level it.
Step 3: The Presentation
Place a Stella Artois coaster on the counter before placing the chalice on top with the Stella Artois logo facing the drinker.
This three-step process is a shortened version of the nine-step pouring ritual because who really has time for all that admin when craving a cold one?
Similar Alternatives to Stella Artois Solstice Lager
If the Solstice is not to your liking or if you can’t find a pack near you, there are a few alternative lagers that are similar in look and taste. Here are a few options to try.
The Weihenstephaner Pils (or Pilsner in the US) is light and aromatic in a similar fashion to the Stella Artois Solstice Lager. The light beer offers a higher alcohol content with 5.1% ABV.
The flavors include a similar zesty citrus flavor to the Solstice Lager. However, it also has an earthy and grassy flavor with a slightly grainy finish.
The Pilsner Urquell is a Czech beer that has similarities to the Solstice Lager, such as only using three ingredients, barley, hops, and water, to create a crisp beer with a slight bitterness.
The smooth beer is similar to the Solstice. However, it gives off subtle notes of caramel flavors and contains 4.4% ABV, offering an even lighter beer.
Baltika 7 Export
The Baltika 7 Export is a premium lager made from rare hops and selected malt to produce a full beer with a soft finish. The beer is also commonly labeled the “The Best Light Beer” at the Moscow Beer Festival, taking on the title almost every year. The richly flavored lager contains 5.4% ABV.
Jupiler Belgian Beer
Jupiler is a blond beer with a decent alcohol content sitting at 5.2% ABV. The Belgian pilsner is a light beer with a deliciously dry finish. The beer consists of tropical flavors similar to pineapple with a good bitterness towards the end. The Jupiler beer is characterized by its pleasant maltiness.
Stella Artois Solstice Lager FAQs
Question: Is Stella Artois Solstice Lager Seasonal?
Answer: While the Solstice lager product from Stella Artois was created as a seasonal summer product, the brand decided to produce and sell it year-round as of late 2020.
Question: What is the Alcohol Content of Stella Artois Solstice Lager?
Answer: Stella Artois Solstice Lager contains 4.5% ABV.
Question: What is the Nutritional Information for Stella Artois Solstice Lager?
Answer: Per 11.2 fluid ounce, Stella Artois Solstice Lager contains:
- 105 calories
- 4.5 g carbohydrates
- 0 g sugar
- 0 g fat
Question: What does Stella Artois Solstice Lager Taste Like?
Answer: The Solstice lager from Stella Artois offers a smooth and crisp taste with subtle hints of zesty citrus and lemon, leading to a dry finish. You will also notice thin cereal tastes and notes of honey coming through in this lager.
Stella Artois Solstice Lager Review: The Last Sip
The Stella Artois Solstice Lager is an ideal beer to grab out of the ice-cold fridge on a hot summer’s day. The low alcohol content allows you to drink in the day to refresh and cool down without getting too much of a buzz going. The light taste will also prevent you from feeling too bloated.
The beer was designed for a summer’s day; however, it could be had at any time of the year when you are in the mood for a gentle fizz and smooth drink.
Be careful to check where the beer has been brewed, as there are comments about the American brewed beers not being quite as good as the Belgian imports.
While the beer won’t offer too much taste for those who prefer a much darker brew, it might be just right for new beer drinkers or those looking for a beverage that won’t leave them feeling too full before the day is over.
This also means the beer is perfect for enjoying with meals, especially snack foods like pizza, nachos, and burgers.
It is an ideal beer for those summer days with friends and family, so grab a pack and enjoy the authentic Belgian beer brewed with over 600 years of expertise.