A CHOUFFE life!
Christof Vandenhouten is certainly one of our biggest fans. Today, he demonstrates his passion for CHOUFFE, which began about ten years ago, in many different and sometimes highly original ways!
Christof first discovered LA CHOUFFE in 2009. “It was a summer day”, he recalls. “We were at my in-laws’ house with my partner and my father-in-law put a bottle of 75cl LA CHOUFFE on the table and said: “This is a great beer, you have to try it” and he wasn’t wrong! I thought it was good but entertaining too, with this image of a little gnome on the bottle.” LA CHOUFFE worked its magic on Christof. The young firefighter from Overijse then began to take a closer look at the Achouffe Brewery. “From the day I found out about CHOUFFE, that was it, I had the bug”, he laughs.
Charmed by the Valley of the Fairies
Christof visited the Valley of the Fairies for the first time in 2012 to find out more about the CHOUFFE universe. Accompanied by around thirty friends from Overijse, he attended the Grande CHOUFFERIE. “It was a very good event, a special one to celebrate the brewery’s 30th anniversary”, he says. “The weather was lovely and everyone was in the mood. Since then, we’ve returned year on year, with the same group of friends, we couldn’t miss it now.”
In addition to the Grande CHOUFFERIE, Christof likes to visit Achouffe regularly. “I generally come every two months to enjoy the special atmosphere at the brewery”, he states. “Whenever there’s an event organized around CHOUFFE, such as the LA CHOUFFE Walk or the CHOUFFE-4-Cheese for example, I’m there. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” And when asked what his partner thinks of it all, Christof simply answers: “She understands my passion and often accompanies me, with the children and other friends. But it’s clear that it takes up a lot of my time so when it becomes too much, she tells me.”
A CHOUFFE caravan, really?
As a true CHOUFFE fan, Christof collects everything to do with the Achouffe Brewery including bottles, coasters, posters, gadgets, hats, etc. “As soon as a new object appears on the market, I must absolutely have it, I can’t help it”, he says. A rich collection that he proudly displays, partly, in his living room. “I’ve come to an arrangement with my partner: I can use half our furniture to store and display my little CHOUFFE trophies”, he smiles.
Christof also likes to share his passion for CHOUFFE with other people. During the Grape Festival that takes place every year in Overijse, Christof and some of his friends had the idea of offering LA CHOUFFE on draught. Encouraged by its success, Christof decided to create a CHOUFFE caravan with some friends, a kind of stand that can easily travel anywhere. “Over long weekends, our team, called the “Chouffkes Overijse”, worked to transform the caravan so that our CHOUFFE project could be created”, explains Christof. “We even underwent training at the Achouffe Brewery so that we could serve the beer properly. And in 2016, we offered LA CHOUFFE on draught for the first time at the Grape Festival. Last year, we sold 36 barrels in one weekend! A proud moment!”
Today the caravan travels to various events. “We receive many requests”, highlights Christof. “For example, we take part in corporate events, private parties and Christmas markets. With our caravan, LA CHOUFFE goes everywhere. “
Attention to detail
CHOUFFE has infiltrated every area of Christof’s daily life. The protective case for his smartphone is an image of the gnome Marcel. At Candlemas, Christof enjoys making a stencil in the shape of Marcel in icing sugar on his pancakes. “My friends and family say that I’m always wearing CHOUFFE t-shirts. I can’t help it, I love it, I love CHOUFFE!” His latest madness? A tattoo on his leg last October: “Now, CHOUFFE is always with me.”
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