An act of sale from the archives of the Steenhuffel commune refers to "a manor, situated opposite the church, called Den Hoorn, along the road from Aelst to Mechelen".
The first "official" sign of brewing activities in Steenhuffel. During the Ancien Régime, a census act gives a list of the traders and shopkeepers among which: places of distraction "De Oude Croon", "Het Hoefijzer" and "de Drij Coninghen" next to the church and the breweries "De Hoorn" and "de Valck".
First years of the19th century
Most breweries in these days are village breweries. In Steenhuffel, sources talk about two breweries at that time. The first is operated by Johannes-Petrus Moortgat, the other "De Hoorn" belongs to Jean-Baptiste De Mesmaecker.
Henriette De Mesmaecker, great grand daughter of Jean-Baptiste De Mesmaecker, marries Arthur Van Roy, a direct descendent of Van Rhode (Van Roije - Van Roy), miller at Kasteel Diepensteyn around 1625. This milling family evolved into a brewing family, first at Denderbelle, and afterwards at Wieze. He immediately gives a new impetus to beer production. At a time of rapid expansion of the market for lager type beers, Arthur Van Roy remains committed to his traditional high fermentation beers. He thereby misses important possibilities for expansion but on the other hand ensures the continuity and specificity of his regional brewery.
The war does not spare the De Hoorn brewery: it is completely destroyed. Arthur Van Roy rebuilds a bigger one. He believes that his high fermentation beer can also meet with success beyond the village.
Arthur Van Roy gives a brand name to "the beer of Steenhuffel" to promote sales. Proud of the fact that his high fermentation beer is offering strong resistance to the rising tide of lagers, he gives it the name "Speciale PALM", Special referring to the beer style "Special Belgian" and "palm" as a sign of victory.
Alfred Van Roy, son of Arthur, learns from his father how he must brew beer: generous and mellow, not too heavy but full of savour and rich in aroma. In order to further improve his knowledge of the skills of the trade , he attends the brewing school in Brussels.
Construction of the first copper brewing room (present brewing room 1).
Alfred Van Roy marries Marguerite d'Hollander, daughter of a brewing family from Moerzeke. After the war, they undertake the reconstruction of the brewery.
On the occasion of the celebration of 200 years of existence, Arthur and Alfred Van Roy thank their loyal clients with an original end of year present: Dobbel Palm. A delicious and honest seasonal beer which immediately becomes a tradition.
The father, Arthur, dies; his son Alfred takes over the helm.
Alfred Van Roy draws the lot for the best site in the "Ancienne Belgique market" at the EXPO '58. He builds an impressive "Palmhof" (Palm court). This gains PALM immediate national renown.
The "De Hoorn" brewery becomes bottler for the imported Carlsberg beer, for the Benelux market.
After the death of his first wife in 1966, Alfred Van Roy marries again with Aline Verleynen, daughter of Maria Roman from the Roman brewing family of Mater-Oudenaarde. Together, they give an important new impetus to the growth of the brewery.
The brewery installs a new brewing room, partly with material recuperated from the Mena brewery in Rotselaer which had closed (present brewing room 2).
Fate has determined that direct family succession be impossible. In order to ensure continuity, Jan Toye, nephew of Aline Verleynen and grand son of Maria Roman, is asked to take part in the day to day management of the company. His degree in civil engineering is completed by a post-graduate degree in Brewing from the University of Leuven.
The "De Hoorn" Brewery is increasingly identified with its "Speciale Palm" product and is therefore baptised "the Palm brewery ". It is for this reason that the company changes its name into "Palm Brewery". To emphasize that Palm is a speciality from Brabant, the Brabant draught horse is chosen as logo.
In 1976, for the first time, a total of 5 million kilos of raw material is used. Palm celebrates this event with a grand party.
Jan Toye marries Carine Van Goethem, a brewer's daughter of Steendorp Temse and grand daughter of the brewer Van Steenberge from Ertvelde
More than 8 million kg are used during this year. Palm now ranks number 6 among Belgian breweries and is in the forefront of the comeback of high fermentation beers.
Palm crosses the frontier and conquers the Netherlands from the south. A subsidiary Brouwerij Palm BV is created. Local news : Palm buys the " Diepensteyn Domain" and starts the restoration and reconstruction work.
Important investments which give a new growth oriented lay-out : Brewing room 3, cylindro-conical tanks, 60.000 bottles/hour bottling line, new loading and unloading hall, new access road to the logistic department, anaerobic waste water treatment station.
Restoration of the Diepensteyn Domain with stud-farm
Palm reaches the 15 million kg of material used mark: enough for the production of 30 million Palms. A unique performance for the biggest family-owned and independent brewery in Belgium.
Palm organises the Brussels-Amsterdam Draught Parade with about one hundred draught horses. Also a media stunt.
The brewery has existed for 250 years. We must thank the devotees of Palm for that. The Palm Challenge Cup, a competition for draught horse drivers, is inaugurated.