Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren

Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren

Architectural Buildings • Breweries • Religious Sites
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Very good
53
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Kevin_from_Boston
Boston, MA111 contributions
Jun 2022
You can't visit the abbey or the brothers, but you can drink their outstanding beer and eat cheese made at the abbey. This is the only place in the world where you can order a glass of Westvleteren beer and buy small quantities. If you want to buy more (1-4 cases), you need to arrange that more than a week in advance with the abbey's website. But here at the cafe, on a perfect June afternoon, I drank Westvleteren Blonde and ate Abbey cheese on homemade bread. Perfect moment. Several cyclist groups arrived here while I was eating - a wonderful destination after a couple hours of cycling.
Written June 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FyFazan
Oslo, Norway1,458 contributions
Jun 2019
You are not allowed entrance into the area without setting up an appointment first.

Anyway, defintely worth to visit the place that makes "the best beer in the world", and enjoy the Westvleteren beers at the nearby restaurant "In de Vrede".

A must visit when in Belgium.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ChanaJane3
The Hague, The Netherlands417 contributions
Jan 2015 • Couples
I have just returned from my second pilgrimage to Westvleteren.

Let me explain the process a little first. You begin with checking the website for the day you can call. Lets say the website says you can call on Wednesday from 8:30 - 10:30 am you must begin calling right at 8:30 and just dial over and over and over. If you are very lucky you will get through after a few months:) They will then tell you the day and time you can go for your appointment and then they will ask you for the plate number of your car.

On the day of your journey, be on time. I like to build in a two hour window (I am 3+ hours away). The wonderful thing about arriving early is you can have a beer and a meal at the cafe while you wait.

If you are lucky the cafe will also be selling gift packs that you do not need an appointment to purchase. This is the best way to make friends and influence people, giving away a gift pack. Sadly today the cafe was closed and we were not able to get our lovely gift packs:( The cafe also sells cheese, jams and other gifts.

When the time for your appointment arrives you pull into what looks very much like a beer drive thru. A man comes out and loads the two crates in your car (48 beers!!). The price of two cases of 12 is 80 euro. There is a 10 euro deposit for each crate so your total will be 100 euro. Save your beer bottles and crates and return them on your next trip.
Written January 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

2Viator8
Mons, Belgium54 contributions
Jul 2013 • Friends
Westvleteren 12 is a Belgian Trappist Ale that has consistently been voted the single best tasting beer in the world. Located in the western corner of Belgium, the St Sixtus Abbey (or Westvleteren Abdij) is home to the Trappist Westvleteren Brewery. The Brewery was founded in 1838 and is owned and operated by the monks of the St Sixus Abbey. The brewery currently brews three beers: Blonde (green cap), 8 (blue cap), 12 (yellow cap).
In order to purchase the beer by the crate, you must reserve over the phone (persistence, the line is always busy). Sales are limited to one order every 60 days per person per license plate and phone number. Buyers currently are limited to two or one crate. When making an order, the types of beer available for sale are available on their website and pick up time windows. No luck to individuals who drive up to the abbey hoping to purchase beer without having placed an order.
Aside from the brewery itself, the only other official sale point for the beer is the abbey-owned cafe and visitor's centre opposite the abbey. All beers can be bought there for immediate consumption or purchased for take-away, depending on availability (prices are higher than phone orders and limited to the amount you can buy). The shop and café sells cheeses made at the abbey. The café also has beer ice cream on the menu, a must to sample.
The bottom line, worth an afternoon visit for to sample the beer, cheese and ice cream.
Written July 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KepinItReal
Munich, Germany3,582 contributions
OK... so here goes. Anyone who is a beer enthusiast will have been to this trappist beer producers website and noted the convoluted booking and collecting procedures to obtain some of their beers. This almost put me off visiting the abbey to try their beers. To be frank the idea of booking a few beers over the internet, driving to the middle of nowhere at a specific time on a specific day only to be directed in to a bland drive through on the side of the abbey is just nonsense. So I didnt do this. I did drive to he abbey to sample the beers at the cafe across the road. Was I in heaven? No. Is the beer so awesome in comparison to other trappist beers? No. The 'dubbel' and 'trippel' beers were nice but to me no better than the stronger Chimays or Rocheforts. The 'blonde' however was a nice surprise and I would definately rate this as my favourite and does definately differ from the lighter Orval etc trappist 'blondes'. I enjoyed sitting in the cafe sipping some nice beers. But when you are in the 'shop' and they say they have run out of beer to take with you then I get annoyed. When you dont even get a beermat at the cafe I get annoyed. When you are told you can buy a beer mat in the shop I get more annoyed. This exclusivity and pomposity is ridiculous. My preference is visit Abbey D'Orval (5 EURO ENTRANCE and one euro twenty for a bottle of beer) and buy Rochefort/Chimay/Orval and the other trappists in the shops and go to Westvleteren Abbey Sixtus if you happen to be passing through the area for a pit stop. Blatant clever 'exclusivity' marketing for beer is a concept that doesnt make sense to someone accustomed to some of the best beer in the world right on my doorstep.
Written September 7, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

travelhappytraveler
Los Angeles, CA153 contributions
Jun 2014 • Couples
We LOVED this experience. have faith the road to the Abbey is ridiculous. Once you see a small sign for the abbey Saint Sixtus just keep driving in the small roads. They seem to all lead there eventually. very modern space. we got all 3 beers and did our own tasting. You can buy the beer to go as well. The cheese and accoutrements are delicious, save space for them as well. There were a lot of people and some quite friendly. Felt like everyone was a local. Super special, exceptional beer. Do not miss this experience if you are even not a huge beer connoisseur.
Written September 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Randy VV
Ashland, WI202 contributions
Oct 2018
On this my third visit to Belgium and being a craft beer enthusiast from the U.S. I was fortunate to make a pilgrimage to one of the centers of the beer universe, Sint Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, Vleteren, Belgium.

Our visit occurred towards the end of October, 2018 on a beautiful fall day.

To buy beer, we decided to go the simplest route of picking up the maximum of two 6-packs of Westvleteren beer each from their gift shop. We arrived shortly after opening and the wait in line took maybe 20-25 minutes. If desired, you can purchase additional 6-packs by simply getting back in line. Repeat as needed. On this day, they only had the Westvleteren 12 and Blond for sale. I noticed an hour or so later, the line was much shorter.

We enjoyed a short walk about the public area of the grounds. Not much to see publicly anyway.

I would suggest enjoying a beer or two inside or out on their patio as we did. A simple menu, likely indicative of the Trappist monks themselves is offered. On this day I enjoyed glass of Westvleteren 8 and Blond beers, Boterham met Abdipate (Bread with Abbey Pate) sandwich. For dessert, Coupe “In de Vrede” en Trappist (Ice made with Trappist beer). The ice cream was amazingly delicious and I would highly recommend it!

Overall, when visiting Belgium and if you’re a craft beer enthusiast Sint Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, Vleteren, Belgium is a must stop to enjoy one of the best and rarest beers in the world!

NOTE on buying beer by the case, please read the buying beer page on their website for detailed instructions.

Basically in order to buy a maximum of two cases of Westvleteren beer the process is more involved and requires much patience and perseverance. You have to call a phone number listed on their website, and if you’re fortunate to get through, follow the instructions, leave your vehicle license plate number. Then on the day of pickup wait in a long line of cars and get your beer. IMPORTANT: depending on dates/days of pickups only certain beers may be available, so do your research for the beer type you want. Via your license plate number you are limited to two cases per 60 days.
Written October 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

groupwww
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico549 contributions
Jul 2017
Beer for diehard beer geeks. The food reminds you that this is an abbey and sacrifices must be made, but the beers redeem the sins of the food and the service. If you're really lucky the store will be selling beer. Hot Tip: get in the beer line FIRST, before eating, it really sells out fast even though the amount you can buy per person is limited.
Written July 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kaykay485
Fort Collins, CO13 contributions
May 2011
So don't be fooled, it is a long trip for good beer, but my husband and I really enjoyed it. We didn't rent a car, so we took the train from Bruges (2 hours with 1 switch) to Poperinge and then rented bikes and rode out to the Abbey (about 20 minutes bike ride). You cannot go in the Abbey, but you can look around and of course try the beer in the Cafe. My husband and I ate lunch there, and had a Westvleteren 8 and 12 each. The beer was very very good. We also purchased beer and cheese in the gift shop - you're allowed to purchase 6 bottles per person. They had plenty of everything, so we got 6 Westvleteren 8 and 6 Westvleteren 12. We made our way back to Poperinge (with very heavy packs) and took the train to Ieper where we got off and went to the Flanders Fields Museum. It was a neat museum, but our bags were a little to heavy to enjoy it thoroughly. After that we headed back to Bruges.

So all in all, not worth it if that's the only sight you're seeing, but if you're willing to make a whole day of it there's a lot of neat WWI stuff to see in that area of Flanders.
Written May 31, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

beermanTIM
Portland, OR3 contributions
We have been here a few times while staying in the Netherlands. We drove to their restaurant (In De Vrede) across the street from the Abbey for lunch on the way to other destinations and to pick up 3 crates of their "8" beer. It's a great opportunity to try all 3 of their brews and grab a soup & sandwich. There is also a walking path to take a stroll around their property. The restaurant has a tiny gift shop to purchase cheese, a speciality beer glass or T-shirt and a few other items. It is sad that you need reservations and an appointment to buy a crate of their beer.
WARNING: make sure you check on the days and hours they are open on their web site. We drove in one Saturday when they should have been open...us and several others were a little annoyed to discover that they were closed.
Written October 24, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren

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