La Chouffe is Brasserie d’Achouffe’s star brew. This strong blond ‘gnome beer’, first brewed in 1982, today accounts for 80 per cent of the brewery’s output. Not only did the brewers make history with this, their first Ardennes tripel, but the story of the beer’s origins also went down a storm: how it was brewed from an original recipe, whispered into the brewers’ ear by gnomes from the Houffalize area.
La Chouffe is an unfiltered blond beer, re-fermented in the bottle, as well as in the barrel. It is pleasantly fruity, spiced with coriander and has a mild taste of hops. A La Chouffe embodies ‘the sun in a glass’ with its splendidly intense golden-yellow colour, and creamy collar of froth. Herbal fragrances make for a playful entrance, then the citrus makes itself known, followed by the refreshing aroma of fresh coriander.
These flavours combine into a flowery character that is perfectly complemented by a banana-like fruitiness, which can also be picked up in the taste. The coming together of these fresh fruity flavours ensures that the beer never has an over-heavy mouth feel at any point. The finish is agreeably herbal and peppery. La Chouffe is easy to drink and the first readily has you contemplating a second. Like the Belgians, always insist on the correct glass!
The lovely people at Brasserie d’Achouffe have given us this recipe to use La Chouffe in. Sounds damn good to me.
SCAMPI IN CHOUFFE
Easy recipe – Serves 4
Preparation: 30 min – Cooking time: 25 min
24 shelled Scampi (large prawns)
400 ml fresh cream
2 chopped tomatoes
330 ml La Chouffe
25 g green pepper
salt, pepper, chopped tarragon
Season scampi, coat in flour and sauté in very hot butter. Set aside. Deglaze using La Chouffe. Boil down a little, and then add the cream, the tomatoes and the green pepper. When the tomatoes are cooked through (+/- 10 minutes), pass the mixture through a fine strainer. Thicken and add chopped tarragon, and then the scampi. Season to taste. Serve hot on linguine.