La Chouffe

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


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 -


Happy Friday!!


De Halve Maan Triple

Hey all!


Getting the weekly beer suggestion out late this week, because despite my heroic (ok, super lazy) searching efforts, the first couple beers I thought about are not, sadly, available at any of the liquor stores that I checked.  Amazingly enough though, I found that while I had never heard of this week’s beer before traveling to Bruges (a fairytale town near the northern part of Belgium, and the subject of a hilarious movie starring Colin Farrell), the Cheeky Monk, of all places – being the site of two of Michael and my first three dates, rotates this beer on their menu.


Weekly beer suggestion for the week of October 1, 2012:


De Halve Maan Triple


“De Halve Maan” means “half-moon”, and that’s the symbol of the brewery as well.  This brewery sits on a side street in Bruges, and they also have a beautiful food menu with which they pair their beer.  In Denver we pair our beer with good eats from food trucks, since most breweries don’t serve food, but in Belgium almost every brewery either serves food or has an adjacent tasting room that serves food.


We stopped at De Halve Maan during our walking tour of Bruges – it was only like 10am, so Michael drank both of my beers (he was drunk and hilarious during the rest of the walking tour – I’ll send a picture or two around in next week’s email).  However, I tasted them, and they were the type of relaxed, un-pretentious beers that you are super happy to have access to within walking distance of your house.


The brewery was started in 1856 in Bruges.  They have the phrase “Brugse Zot” on their label, along with a little clown guy (a court jester, or “fool”).  The story behind the term “Brugse Zot” is that to welcome Maximilian of Austria to their proud town, the people of Bruges organized a colorful parade of merrymakers and fools. When they asked him at the end of the day to provide money for a new madhouse he replied: “Today I have seen nothing but fools. Bruges is already one large madhouse!” Since then the people of Bruges are called “Brugse Zotten” (fools of Bruges).


The beer Is brewed with four different kinds of malt, and two kinds of hops.  It has a 6% ABV, and definitely an easy drinker.  There is the triple and the dubbel (the dubbel has an ABV of 7.5% and is brewed with six kinds of malt and they use the Tcheque Saaz hop). While usually the triple (which is actually called just a pale blond ale by the brewery) is served only at the brewery, they have recently started kegging it for the U.S., so you are more likely to find it on tap at a restaurant than you are at a liquor store.


The website describes this beer as a “great refreshing beer to drink with company during pleasant times, or moments of extreme fun.”  That’s a ringing endorsement, if you ask me!!!


Happy Friday!!!


Saison Dupont

Hey all!


Hope everyone’s week is going well.  My week is good, we like being home and back at work, although please sign the petition for my company to open its office in Paris at the bottom of this email.  :-)


No seriously, it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve had a chocolate croissant, and I’m starting to get the shakes.


I didn’t get any responses from last week’s beer suggestion telling me that you were able to try the beer, so this week we’re going with something more widely available:


Beer Suggestion for the week of September 24, 2012:


Saison Dupont


The saison dupont is brewed by the Dupont family at their brewery, which is located about 1.5 hours from Bruxelles (Brussels), Belgium.  When Michael and I visited the brewery, we were unable to tour, as it was Sunday and they were closed, but we did go to Les Caves de Dupont, the tasting room for the Dupont brewery, just next door.  While we were supposed to have a long tasting of all the various Dupontbeers, the proprietors of the tasting room are evidently in the middle of a nasty divorce (this learned by me following a conversation with the lady in total pigeon French), and the female proprietor was, for lack of a better term, totally sh*t-faced drunk at like 2pm.  So, we all had a saison dupont, and moved on to another brewery that will undoubtedly provide the subject of a future weekly beer suggestion.  We were able to try the saison dupont biologique (an organic saison) and the Biere de Miel (a sour beer made with honey) at a later time, and the organic saison was even better than the original (if you see it, drink it!).  I’m not a huge connoisseur of sour beers, but those beer trippers who were seriously dug the biere de miel.


Historically, a “saison” was brewed in the winter months, and served to the farmers during the next summer.  These farmers were called “saisoniers.”  Best served around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12* Celsius).  It’s a cloudy beer, but drinks really smoothly.  It’s also got an ABV of about 6.5%, which makes it no slouch!!


This one is definitely available at the Argonaut and most liquor stores that carry the Belgian stuff, so go check it out!!!


Have a great week


Duvel Triple Hop

Since we just got back from a beer tour in Belgium, I figured it was only fair to impart some of the knowledge we acquired.  So, I figured I’d send out random beer suggestions (I’ll aim for weekly, but will probably forget sometimes), to perhaps acquaint some of you with delicious Belgian beers heretofore unknown.


Beer suggestion for the week of September 17, 2012:


Duvel Triple Hop


Duvel always uses the same two varieties of hops in their beer, the Saaz and Styrian Goldings.  However, beginning a year or two ago, they decided to make one beer with an extra hop – the Citra hop, an American hop – hence, “Triple Hop”.  It will not be around forever, but they did tell us that it is available in the U.S.  It is one of the hoppier beers we tried while in Belgium, has a 9.5% ABV, and it is delicious!


For the locals, according to Total Beverage’s website, they carry it at their Thornton store.  I checked Argonaut’s website and didn’t see it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.