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.
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