So, it’s been awhile, I know, since the last weekly beer suggestion. Life has been busy! However, it’s Friday afternoon, and while there’s more work to be done, sometimes there are things (beer) that are more important than work!
Last week was Beer Week here in Denver, culminating with the Great American Beer Festival. While Mike and I didn’t indulge in the colossal drunkfest that is GABF (urban dictionary defines “drunkfest” as “an abundance of drunk” – also known as “college” or “law school”), we have hit up a couple local breweries in the past few weeks (*** – underwhelming; and Great Divide – amazing as always). At ***, which claims to focus on Belgian-style beers, we stared nostalgically at our glasses (which were small and cost $5, as opposed to in Belgium where they were large and cost way less), and longed for the mornings where, after a breakfast of fries and speculoos, we would jet off to Chimay or Duvel before lunching on fries and beer. Lunches in Belgium were events. While we occasionally went to a farmers market, bought Vietnamese food off a truck and sat on a bench tucking in and ducking pigeon sh*t, more often than not lunch was accompanied by a varied selection of delicious beverages, leading to early afternoons of laughter, followed swiftly by naptime. Thus, this week’s beer suggestion is based on one of the beers best enjoyed (at least by us) at lunchtime.
Weekly Beer Suggestion for the Week of October 15, 2012:
La Chouffe is brewed by Brasserie d’Achouffe, which is now owned by Duvel Moortgat. La Chouffe is an unfiltered blond beer with an 8% ABV. You might think that an 8% beer might be too much for a lunchtime beer, but you’d be wrong and everyone should laugh at you, call you a wimp, and then hand you a Coors light, which is clearly what you should be drinking. We had our first La Chouffe at a wonderful restaurant in Kortrijk (pronounced “cor-tray”), on our way to Bruges from Brussels. We had the Houblon Chouffe at the Duvel Moortgat brewery towards the end of the trip, which is another wonderful beer for those who like a more hoppy (bitter) taste. Both La Chouffe and the Houblon Chouffe are fairly accessible, and sold at most places where Belgian beers are sold.
The Achouffe beers have a little dwarf on their label. Supposedly, one of the founders of Achouffe had the idea for this logo while watching a television show where a painting of a dwarf was sold to raise money for victims of a storm. My theory is that the devil traded him the recipe for the beer, asking to be immortalized on the bottle in return; however the founders got the better of the devil, immortalizing him as a funny little dwarf for all the world to laugh at. Ok, that’s not really my theory, but it’s a better story than the stupid painting.
Generally, the hops used are the Goldings and the Czech Saaz hops. If you’re interested in replicating, here’s a link to a La Chouffe cloning discussion from tastybrew.com - http://www.tastybrew.com/