Stella Artois Original vs Stella Artois Unfiltered

Our comparison of Stella Artois Original vs Stella Artois Unfiltered, which of these popular premium lagers is best?


Mat Stuckey

12/12/20232 min read

A Stella on a bar
A Stella on a bar

Stella Artois Original vs Stella Artois Unfiltered: A Detailed Comparison

As a homebrewing enthusiast and founder of, I've always been intrigued by the nuances that make each beer unique. The comparison between Stella Artois Original and Stella Artois Unfiltered is particularly fascinating, as it highlights how small changes in the brewing process can significantly alter the flavour profile of a beer. Let's dive into the details of these two popular beers.

History and Evolution of Stella Artois

  • Origins: Stella Artois, a renowned name in the beer world, originated over 600 years ago in Leuven, Belgium. Initially brewed by Den Hoorn brewery, the brand's legacy began in earnest when Sébastien Artois bought the brewery in 1708.

  • Popularity in the UK: Gaining significant popularity in the UK around 1976, Stella was brewed under license by Whitbread.

  • Current Ownership: Now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, Stella Artois is distributed globally from Belgium.

Introduction of Stella Unfiltered

  • Launch in the UK: Stella Unfiltered was launched in the UK on June 15th last year, with a recent relaunch in shops. It poses an interesting question: how does it differ from the original Stella Artois, and which is superior?

Ingredients & Production

  • Both beers are made with Saaz hops and brewed in Belgium using local barley and water.

  • Key Difference: Stella Unfiltered is not filtered to remove yeast and sediment, potentially leaving more flavour in the beer.

Flavour Profile Comparison

Stella Artois Original

  • Appearance: Light straw colour, clear transparency with a thick foam head and abundant carbonation.

  • Aroma and Flavour: Malty, bready, biscuity, with wheaty and crackery notes. However, it lacks a distinguishing character and has an unpleasant, harsh bitter aftertaste.

  • Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with uplifting carbonation, but the bitterness unbalances the flavour profile.

Stella Artois Unfiltered

  • Appearance: Darker, pale gold colour with slightly hazy transparency and a full, dense foam head.

  • Aroma and Flavour: Inviting malty biscuity aroma with wheat and bread notes. The taste is soft, smooth, delicate, and balanced, with a more pronounced malty flavour.

  • Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with refreshing and crisp qualities. The hops add character and spice, unlike the original's bitterness.

  • Alcohol Content: At 5.0% ABV, it offers a better balance of flavour to hops than the regular Stella at 4.6% ABV.

Final Thoughts

Is there a difference and which is better? The major differences lie in the strength and flavour. Stella Unfiltered, with its higher alcohol content and richer flavour profile, offers a more vibrant taste and smoother experience than the original.

  • For Craft Beer Lovers: If you're a fan of fresh Belgian beers, Stella Unfiltered's rich, fruity, and satisfying taste will likely appeal to you.

  • For Those Who Prefer Smoothness: If your preference leans towards smooth and easy-drinking lagers, the Original Stella may suit your taste better.

In conclusion, while personal preference plays a crucial role, Stella Unfiltered emerges as the winner in this comparison for its more balanced and appealing flavour profile. Whether you're a seasoned beer connoisseur or just starting to explore different beer styles, understanding these nuances can greatly enhance your drinking experience.