The cosy tiny town of Achouffe (a few miles west of Houffalize) accomodates one of many interesting Belgian breweries. The Achouffe brewery is worth a visit for several reasons. The main one is of course their fantastic product. They make a blonde beer, 'Chouffe' and a dark brown one, Mc Chouffe, both are 8% abv. In winter they brew an even stronger one; Chouffe N'ice which is 10% abv.
Peculiar is the fact they don't bottle in 'normal' sized bottles. The smallest container is a 750 ml champagne bottle and the blonde variety even comes as Big Chouffe in 1.5 litre magnums! The statement they make is that you should drink a Chouffe with company. (Or drink for two?)
A tour around the brewery costs 7.50 Euro and includes a postcard (if you send it from Achouffe the brewery even pays the postage) a glass and 2 free beers! The tour takes an hour and brings you to 3 different locations, all within 4 kilometers (but you need a car). First the brewery itself, afterwards the guide takes you to their bottling plant and the tour ends in one of those typical Belgian pubs where you can taste draught Chouffe and Mc Chouffe.
The brewery dates from 1982 and it is said that the recipe of the beer was whispered in the ear of the founders by a gnome..... Therefore you'll still find the gnome figure as the brewery mascot on all their products.
Ah yes; the taste! The blonde Chouffe is refreshing with a little herbal hint in the finish. The Mc Chouffe is delicately sweetish (brown candy sugar used as an additive). Once you've tasted it you understand the big sized bottles..... :-)
NB: If you want to to buy some beer (and you should!), you need to do that first in the brewery's little shop because the tour ends elsewhere. There's a restaurant too on the premises which also serves beer related dishes, like 'tirami-chouffe'........
info and pictures as soon as possible
In the heart of the Belgian Ardennes.
Bruxelles 100Km Liège 62 Km, exit 51 (Houffalize), turn right, turn left at the "Shell"-station, then 4 km downhill to Achouffe.
Namur Neufchâteau Bastogne Houffalize turn left, when arrived at the Shell station, turn left then 4 km downhill to Achouffe.
Brewdog (Leroy) and Karel volunteered to drive around in the Lachouffe mobile.
If the car was not empty at that moment, I am pretty sure we would have seen them disappear for a couple of days `-)
Well Chris (Christian) has quite some sense of humour and thougth it was a great idea to have our two amateur brewers in the van! He was right! What a lovely picture it made!