by Luisa Seguin Blogger at Beerwulf
La Chouffe, the dwarf beer: a classic you keep coming back toBeers from Brasserie D’Achouffe and alternatives
The Brasserie D’Achouffe is one of the most famous producers of craft beers. Loved by everyone all over the world, it’s an evergreen.
The history of the brewery
This beer’s story started deep in the Belgian Ardennes, where in the late 1970s two brothers-in-law, Pierre Gobron and Chris Bauweraerts, decided to bring their hoppy dream to life. In 1982 was the year for the first official production, shortly after that they became one of the most famous in the beer world.
Iconic in the story, as well as in the presentation, Brasserie D’Achouffe chose a little dwarf with a red hat and a bushy beard for their label. It’s inspired by the many legends of the region where the brewery is from.
Brasserie D’Achouffe brews four all-year-round classics and two seasonal beers: Chouffe Bok 6666 and a strong winter beer, Chouffe N’Ice.
Their most well-known beer is a great classic of the craft tradition. Belgian at heart, La Chouffe Blonde is a strong blond ale. With its 8% volume and a hint of coriander and citrus, it leaves behind a fruity scent followed by a slightly spicy and bitter taste. It is best served between 7-10 °C.
The other classic, McChouffe, has some Scottish roots, mirrored in the kilt worn by the iconic dwarf. It presents itself with a ruby shade and a smooth bitterness, accompanied by notes of anise, liquorice and toffee. It tastes best when served between 8-10 °C.
Houblon Chouffe and Chouffe Soleil are the younger beers of the renowned brewery. Houblon (hops in French) is, as the name suggests, a beer rich in hop. Expect more hop aromas compared to the La Chouffe, with more bitterness. It’s still well balanced with a higher alcohol percentage (9%). Finally, Chouffe Soleil is the lighter version of La Chouffe. This is the ideal summer ale: light (6%), cloudy with refreshing citrus aroma.
All Achouffe beers are bottle fermented and therefore present a higher amount of yeast. This means they need some extra attention in the pouring process. It is indeed best to pour them slowly, trying to avoid any abrupt movements and leaving the last centimetre of beer in the bottle. From here, you can go two ways: you either serve this last bit in a separate glass or you pour it right in, giving the beer a stronger taste. We advise you to try both: your taste, your choice.
Digging deeper into Belgian Ales
There’s a great chance that you might already know, and love, Achouffe’s beers. Where to go from here then? Another great evergreen from Belgian ground is Duvel: very similar to La Chouffe, but less spicy. Great if you’re not a fan of coriander. If you do like coriander, try Wilderen Tripel Kanunnik. Other La Chouffe alternatives are Jessenhofke’s Trpl and Brugge Triple. All these beers deserve to be poured in a sparkly goblet glass and slowly enjoyed.
If you are looking for something a bit stronger, Piraat offers a great strong blonde Belgian ale and a Triple Hop, which has quite some similarities with the Houblon Chouffe. Hopus from Brasserie Lefebvre is also a great alternative for the Houblon.
Do you enjoy the Chouffe Soleil? Cuvée des Trolls from Brasserie Dubuisson can be considered as the alternative between the classic La Chouffe and newer Soleil.