Leffe was first produced in 1240 for three key
reasons. Firstly, back then the water was not of sufficient quality
to drink, secondly that beer formed an important part
of the daily diet, and thirdly the need to abide by the law of hospitality
to pilgrims and travellers.
The Leffe brewery is located on the right bank of the Meuse, near the
Belgian city of Dinant. In 1152, the Premonstratensian Fathers founded the Abbaye
de Notre Dame at the confluence of the Meuse and the Leffe,
taking the name of Abbaye de Leffe in 1200AD. The first
historical reference to the brewery dates from 1240. In 1796, after the French
Revolution, the abbey was officially abandoned and
declared public property.
In the years that followed, the abbey changed ownership
several times. The brewery modestly pursued its activities before finally
closing its doors in 1809.
On the 1st of February 1937, the Abbey was classified a historical
building and in 1952, while no beer had been brewed at the abbey
since the French Revolution, Abbot Nys met Albert Lootvoet, a local brewer.
The two men decided to revive the traditions of the Leffe
Abbey by brewing their beers according to the traditional recipe
and method to launch Leffe Brune in 1952.
Leffe settled in France in the 70s and on the 21st of April 1983, Leffe
appeared in the Le Monde newspaper with a full page advert
written entirely in Latin.
Leffe remains proud of its heritage, however in 2006,
Leffe decided to change its old-fashioned image. The
stained-glass windows no longer appeared on the logo. The aim was to keep
the authentic character of the brand while refreshing its
In the last few years, Leffe has followed the same line by brewing a range
of fine beers, proud of both its heritage and its eye for modernity