Mrs CHOUFFE, from floor to ceiling

For 15 years, Monique Carrein from Hansbeke-Nevele has collected absolutely anything to do with the beers from the Valley of the Fairies. A meeting with the lady they’ve nicknamed “Mrs CHOUFFE”.

How did you discover the Chouffe Brewery?

Thirty years ago, I visited the Ardennes for the first time with my husband Eric. As we were exploring the region, we discovered a “micro-brewery” at Achouffe. At the time, calling the place a brewery was a slight exaggeration – it was more of a farm where they were trying to brew beer! We now know that the brewery would go on to become very successful. Since then we’ve returned to Achouffe every year. We’ve built up a group of friends, which is always growing. And we wouldn’t miss the Grande CHOUFFERIE in August for the world.

How did this impressive CHOUFFE collection come about?

This “excitement” for CHOUFFE began around fifteen years ago, when I stopped working and I was looking for a new pastime. Today, an entire room in my house is dedicated to this collection: labels, coasters, glasses, bottles, bottle openers, enamel trays, signs, banners, hats, caps, balloons, shirts, ties, t-shirts, watches, umbrellas and statues of gnomes of all shapes and sizes. All these items have been received, exchanged or bought over time in the CHOUFFE store or in flea markets.

And what does your husband think?

He’s also a CHOUFFE fan. Since the CHOUFFELEIR program was launched in 2012, our passion has grown. On our trips through Belgium, we always make a detour to have a drink in an ambassador café. I’m also delighted that our son Steve and our grandchildren share this same desire to collect CHOUFFE items.