The small town of Achouffe, near Houffalize in the Belgian Ardennes is the home of the Chouffe brewery, which is celebrating its 40thbirthday this year. We first visited the brewery back in 2001, and it was a very rustic affair. It was February and snowing outside, but we were treated to a warm welcome and enjoyed sampling the La Chouffe and McChouffe by the fireplace in the small tasting room.
A lot has changed since then, including the brewery being sold to the Duvel-Moortgat family group in 2006. But the beers are still being made at Brasserie d’Achouffe, and to recognise the milestone they have brewed this delicious Belgian Pale Ale with citrus and sage.
It is an interesting choice given this is the lowest ABV of any of Chouffe’s beers, but it is so well done. It pours slightly darker than blonde, with hints of the malty backbone with coriander, sage and a little citrus mixing in with the classic Belgian yeast aroma.
The taste is clean, quite dry with the same flavours as the nose suggested. Spicy with a good level of hop bitterness, this beer is beautifully refreshing while still being flavoursome enough to keep your interest after every sip.
Did you know? The little gnome that appears on all the Chouffe labels is called Marcel!