La Chouffe Ale

For the holidays, I loaded up with various beers to try out and I thought La Chouffe’s golden ale would be a good one to get. I guess I thought the little gnome on the bottle reminded me of Christmas.

La Chouffe bottle

The Achouffe brewery is located in Belgium. While most breweries there have been around hundreds of years, Achouffe is quite young, having been founded in the late 1970’s. This is when two beer loving brother in laws got together to make beer as a hobby. Eventually the word got out that they were making some good stuff, and they were taken over by the Duvel Moortgat Brewery in 2006.

The Chouffe is a golden ale which contains a little bit of coriander. It is 8% alcohol.

La chouffe in a glass

As you can see, it has a beautiful color, but I was a little disappointed whith how it tasted. Perhaps it’s because I drank it shortly after Samuel Adams’ New World, but to me La Chouffe almost felt watery, with very little complexity and right now I’m not sure I’d purchase another bottle. Have you had this beer? What did you think of it?


Kwack Beer – fit for the mail man!



This is a Belgian amber ale made at the Bosteels Brewery which was founded in 1971.  I really enjoyed this beer and highly recommend it.   It has a beautiful color and head, fruity aroma, with a taste that is mellow with a hint of sweetness and very little bitterness. It has a nice long finish. It’s an easy to drink beer, but watch out as It has an alcohol content of 8.5%.    As with all Belgian beer, Kwack has it’s own glass that should be used to drink it, and this one is quite unusual:  




It is said that this glass was conceived by brewer/inn keeper Pauwel Kwak in the early 19th Century for mail coaches.   Back then, coachmen were apparently not allowed to leave their coach and horses during mail delivery.  Paul Kwak specially made this glass so that it could be hung on the coach to allow them to quench their thirst while delivering the mail.   If the USPS had something like that, I might consider switching profession! 

Duvel – fit for a king

To celebrate Belgium’s independence’s day and the king’s coronation (21st of July), I decided to have a toast with a Duvel, one of Belgium’s most popular ale.   Duvel is produced by a brewery called Moortgat brewery which was founded in 1871.  The beer was originally called “Victory Ale” to  commemorate the end of World War 1.  Apparently the name was changed in the 1920s when someone described the beer as “nen echten duvel” (a real devil in Dutch) and consequently the name was changed to “Duvel”. 

The Duvel double is brewed with two hop varieties and has an alcohol content of 8.5% . 


The Duvel tripel is brewed with 3 strains – the first 2 are the same as in the double, and the third one is changed on a yearly basis. This year, they added a Japanese hop called Sorachi Ace. The tripel has an alcohol content of 9.5%     



It was interesting to be able to taste these two beers at the same time to see what the addition of the third yeast would do. When poured into their proper glass (a Burgundy glass), they both have similar color and a nice light foamy white head. Both are fairly dry. The double gives a quick bitter bite and a medium finish while the tripel has a fruitier flavor, seemed slightly less bitter but with a longer and what I feel was more satisfying finish. I think both would go very well with a hearty meal or as an after dinner drink – perfect for a king’s feast!


Have you had a Duvel? What do you think of it?

Liege Waffles anyone?

One thing people know about me is that I love waffles. My nickname in college was the “American Belgian Waffle” This obsession about waffle probably stems from being born in Liège, where the gaufre de Liège was created. It’s a staple of the city (and Belgium) and everywhere one can see people eating these things while walking down city streets.



What’s a Gaufre de Liège you ask? Apparently Liège waffles were invented in the 18th century by the chef to the prince-bishop of Liège. They are square, thick, heavy waffle made of brioche-based dough and pearl sugar. The beauty of these waffles is that the sugar caramelizes when cooked, resulting in a delightful treat. The Liège waffle differs from the Gaufres de Bruxelles and the Flemish waffles which are supposed to be rectangular, light, crispy, and contain very little sugar.

Place Saint Lambert ...birth place of the Liege waffle?

Place Saint Lambert …birth place of the Liege waffle?

Lucky for me, I found a place in Pittsburgh that makes authentic Liège waffles. It’s called Waffallonia, and it’s located in Squirrel Hills. It’s a tiny place on the corner of Murray and Forbes avenue, and I can attest that these are quite good – very close to the real thing. You can get them “plain” or with various toppings such as strawberries / whipped cream, or Nutella. It’s a perfect place to go for an afternoon treat or a dessert on the way back from dining out in Pittsburgh. I highly recommend them!

Waffallonia menu

Waffallonia menu

Waffle with Nutella.   Yum!

Waffle with Nutella. Yum!