Day 20: Brasserie D’Achouffe La Chouffe Blonde – Belgian Blond Beer 8% ABV
As you might be able to tell from the name of the beer alone, our beer for this Sunday evening is imported from the great brewing country of Belgium. Brasserie D’Achouffe is located in Achouffe, Belgium, a small village in the Eastern part of the country. Founded by two brother-in-laws in the late 1970s, this brewery is characterized by the fanciful gnomes that grace their portly bottles. They call their beers Chouffes, a word that literally has no meaning in Flemish, but has become symbolic of this brewery. I don’t know about you, but I can get a sense of the brewers’ personalities from the unique bottle shape, whimsical artwork, and robust backstories they have created for each of their beers.
La Chouffe Blonde is the most popular and universal beer, or should I say Chouffe, brewed by Brasserie D’Achouffe. The bottle features their first and most favored gnome, Marcel. The pour of this chouffe is a light golden hue with a billowy head of white foam that lingers for quite a while. The aromas are initially of yeast and bready malts, followed by hints of apricot, lemon, clove, and coriander. Since this is a heavier beer, as expected, the taste is malty to start, with punches of coriander, peach, apricot, cloves, and lemon. The massive amount of carbonation adds to this beer’s delectably smooth mouth feel. If you’re a fan of Belgian beer, La Chouffe will definitely become one of your new favorites.
Scripture: Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23
Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
As we enter the 4th week of Advent I found tonight’s reflection from The Advent Project to be incredibly encouraging. It is a beautiful reflection on the meaning of the name Immanuel.
“The truly good news is that God is not a distant God, a God to be feared and avoided, a God of revenge, but a God who is moved by our pains and participates in the fullness of the human struggle. God is a compassionate God. This means, first of all, that God is a God who has chosen to be God-with-us. As soon as we call God “God–with-us,” – Henri Nouwen.
We enter into a new relationship of intimacy with him. By calling God Emmanuel, we recognize God’s commitment to live in solidarity with us, to share our joys and pains, to defend and protect us, and to suffer all of life with us. The God–with-us is a close God, a God whom we call our refuge, our stronghold, our wisdom, and even more intimately, our helper, our shepherd, our love. We will never really know God as a compassionate God if we do not understand with our heart and mind that ‘the Word become flesh and lived among us’ (John 1:14). Advent is the season when we make an intentional choice to focus, to ponder, to reflect, and to find comfort in the staggering truth that Emmanuel—God with us—means that we never face disappointment, discouragement, or pain alone. What a remarkable and earth-shattering truth is contained in this name! Emmanuel…God with us!
Oh how deeply we need this good news during this pandemic season filled with constant disorientation, when we can so easily forget that in the midst of each of our losses—God is with us.”
Take heart and encouragement from the much beloved hymn: O Little Town of Bethlehem
How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given;
so God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in.
Grace and Peace,