New addition to the range of Chouffe beers
Around 1980, two brothers-in-law got the idea to brew a speciality beer for fun in their Ardennes village of Achouffe, near Houffalize. The paltry 49 litres from that time have risen to certainly more than 25,000,000 litres annually now, spread over 6 permanent Chouffe beers. Will No. 7 from the Achouffe Brewery also survive?
Belgium was not faring so well where beer was involved during that period. The number of breweries had fallen sharply; Wallonia had scarcely 24 out of 100. Until the Achouffe Brewery arose, first timidly in the garage of their mother-in-law and then in an empty farmhouse nearby. With some cobbled together material, the brothers-in-law sold only 75 cl bottles, with the characteristic gnome on the label. The Dutch, who came in large numbers to enjoy the tourist assets of the region, took home more of them than were sold in Belgium.
As the years went by, production increased dramatically and the family of gnomes expanded considerably. Each adorned his own Chouffe. Today Chouffe is exported to 53 countries, across all continents! 75% of production is destined for export. So, globally, it has been a real success story. In 2006, the Duvel-Moortgat brewery acquired Achouffe in order to diversify its product range and sales territory. France went flat for Chouffe, better suited as a cask beer than its own bottled brand, Duvel.
Now let's hope that the newcomer, the lighter blonde Chouffe, becomes the permanent No. 7 in the rich assortment of the Achouffe Brewery.