It’s impossible to communicate how attached, nostalgic, and emotional I am about Stella Artois. My affair started in the summer of 2016, when I was 18 years old and trying Stella for the first time in the Czech Republic (the legal drinking age there is 18). Stella posters plastered the walls of bars and restaurants, and I remember the nights spent clinking glasses with my dad in Prague and then taking shots at absinthe bars with him.

What an existence for an 18-year-old! It wasn’t until I went back to college and realized Stella Artois was a commonality that I became obsessed with it. Now that I’m 21 and of legal drinking age in the US, I can write about these topics with confidence (and at times, chagrin).

Learning how to pronounce “Stella Artois” has remained a mystery to many – I usually shorten it to “Stella” but knowing the full name comes in handy at bars or in Europe. Here's my case: Stella Artois is pronounced “Stella Ar-twah,” and that “Stella Ar-toy” nonsense can go sulk in a corner.

Brief History of Stella Artois

Mackenzie Patel

Stella Artois has its roots in 14th century Belgium and the original Den Hoorn Brewery, which was built in 1366. This brewery was bought by Sebastian Artois, a Master Brewer from the Leuven Brewer’s Guild in 1717, although the modern-day Stella Artois wasn’t brewed until 1926

“Stella” means “Star” in Latin, and the original bottles featured a Christmas star on its red and white label (“Christmas beer”). Stella is the Belgian version of a Czech pilsner, although it was omnipresent in Prague when I traveled there. 

Evidence for the Correct Pronunciation

Mackenzie Patel

I was surprised to learn how many people have difficulty pronouncing Stella Artois; I find it much easier to pronounce than “Tzatziki” or “Gyro.” After watching multiple pronunciation videos and asking seasoned beer drinkers for their input, I discovered the correct pronunciation is “steh-lah-are-twah” (thanks, Business Insider).

Most people trip on the “artois” part, saying “are-toys” or “are-twahs” instead of the simpler “are-twah.” The same lip formation used for an air-kiss is the same for saying “twah,” which is probably why I find this beer so whimsical and sultry. 

Best Ways to Suck Down a Stella

Mackenzie Patel

There is no incorrect way to enjoy a cold Stella: in the afternoon, in the shower, after an exam – its taste is incredible regardless (although warm or flat Stella is a crime). I’ve boiled bratwurst in Stella before and steeped of bag of fennel tea in it. Both times, the grainy flavor added extra depth and Europeaness.

Mackenzie Patel

I will forever prost with anyone drinking a Stella Artois, even if they’re pronouncing it incorrectly. For being sold commercially and owned by AB InBev, it’s not terrible or 100% a sellout—it was also the first pint I legally purchased at Walmart on my 21st birthday, although the cashier didn’t even card me (talk about disappointment).