Friday, October 28, 2011


Every Friday, yours truly (Beau), will be highlighting one particular beer that we have on tap at Mudville. This craft beer will most likely be complex, hopefully well-balanced and otherwise delicious. This week I've chosen La Houblon Chouffe.

You may recognize the friendly gnome fella from their more popular blonde brew La Chouffe. With the Houblon they've done the unspeakable and created a Belgian IPA. And by that I mean a true Belgian IPA. They're located here

Inspired by all the craft beer American IPA and Double IPA's popping up in the US Market, Belgian brewers decided to experiment with hops (and to follow suit now there's been an increase of Belgian IPAs being brewed by American brewers...go figure). By and large, IPAs are considered way too hoppy by Belgian beer drinkers. Being one of the youngest breweries in Belgium (1980) Achouffe decided to take that leap of faith. Known for their unique flavor and balancing complexity they've nailed it in this quaffer's opinion.

If you have a minute (more like 20) check out an interview here with Chris Bauweraerts, Founder and Original Brewmaster of Achouffe. Caught when he was last in Philly (2009) the boys from Beers Of Legend asked him about all the special steps that go into creating Achouffe beer. 

From the Achouffe site:
  • Description :
    The HOUBLON CHOUFFE was brewed for the first time in 2006.  It is an ‘Indian Pale ale’ type of beer, with a harmonious balance between a marked bitterness (three types of hops are used to make it) and a pleasant fruitiness.  The HOUBLON CHOUFFE is unfiltered, and re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg.
  • Packaging :
    330 ml bottle
    750ml bottle
    20 litre keg
  • Alcohol :
    9% alc./vol.
  • Original extract :
    18 °Plato
  • Serving temperature :
    4 to 10°C (bottle)
Most likely these three hops come from the Northwest United States, by the way - Tomahawk, Amarillo, and Saaz to be exact. Like most all Belgian beers it comes out full of life in carbonation and you'll have a thick white head from the pour. The Saaz (a popular Pils hop) adds a citrusy, almost grapefruit nuance to beers. In this case it almost comes out as a pineapple on the nose and even throughout the finish. Like most Belgians the abv can sneak up on you...this little gnome creation is no different. The hops are definitely present yet this beer goes down easy. Everything I look for in a big beer.

Come in as soon as you can, this beer does not stick around very long. Ask me and I'll pour you a taste to get you started.


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