If you’re an ardent beer lover who enjoys more than just the commercial brands, you should buy Trappist Westvleteren 12 the next time you’re in the market to restock your refrigerator. Few beers out there can claim the same accolades as Westvleteren 12, which is just one of many characteristics that make this beer so unique.
The Trappist Order
When you buy Trappist Westvleteren 12, you get to enjoy a recipe that has been handed down throughout the centuries. Trappists are an order of Catholic monks that exist throughout Europe. In keeping with their vows, they work hard—generally in silence—to create the means for sustaining their own lives. At many abbeys, this means brewing their own beer.
While Trappists are well known for their beer-making abilities, it’s the Westvleteren order that is said to create the best version on the planet. So when you buy Trappist Westvleteren 12, know that experts from Rate Beer, Beer Advocate, Beer Pal, and other authoritative publications agree that this beer has no rival.
Unfortunately, only so much beer gets brewed every year. Despite the universal demand from those who wish to buy Trappist Westvleteren 12, the monks are dedicated to only brewing as much as they need to live on and not a drop more.
Buying Trappist Westvleteren 12
For the most part, the only way you can buy Trappist Westvleteren 12 is by arriving at the Saint Sixtus abbey yourself. There is a drive-thru of sorts where monks will load the beer onto your car or you can enjoy a few inside their café.
However, even these options come with restrictions. Aside from having to promise that you won’t sell the beer to others, you may only leave with five cases, containing 24 bottles. That may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that the abbey will only produce about 160,000 cases for the entire year. In the café, customers are kept to just six of the 33cl bottles.
It has been like this since 1941, with only a couple of exceptions. In 2012, the monastery granted a limited release of 15,000 six-packs in the U.S. At $85 apiece, they were all gone within the first week, thanks to lines that snaked out of liquor stores and into the street.
What Makes Westvleteren 12 So Unique?
To some degree, no one outside of the abbey can be sure why the Westvleteren 12 is so delicious. Certainly, part of the reason has to be that the order has been brewing this version for over 70 years and other kinds of beers for centuries. That’s a kind of craftsmanship most other breweries just can’t compare to.
Westvleteren 12 is also made to ripen over time, much like a fine wine. So while you can enjoy one immediately after it’s brewed, many find it’s worth it to wait a few years.
Although the beer world is no stranger to fads and trends, Westvleteren 12 seems to stand apart for good reason. If you ever have the opportunity to sample a bottle, then, it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.