Westvleteren 12 Monk Beer: The taste of scarcity

Westvleteren 12 Monk Beer: The taste of scarcity

Westvleteren: The taste of scarcity Of all of the beers in the world, the Trappist beer Westvleteren is arguably the most elusive. You can scour the internet for offers which can top out at 40.00 USD for one lonesome 11 ounce bottle! People are crazy about this beer. Many take trips to Belgium for the purpose of tasting the beer. Recently, I brought two bottles back to the US for a bachelor party and you swear I was bringing a piece of the Virgin Mary’s shroud, a relic that beer aficionados humbly bow before. Iphone photos were snapped, messages to friends and other beer nuts were sent. A general wave of beer euphoria came over our small group of friends. It’s that hard to get. The beer is good. Most people agree. Consider that ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com rate it as the first and seventh best beer in the world respectively. But is it that good? Once you taste it will you ascend to some higher level of beer knowledge? Will you attain beer enlightenment? And if it is really that good, what does it taste like? The beer has a great story. There are 8 Trappist breweries, 6 in Belgium, 1 in France and 1 in Austria. Westvleteren is the only one of the Breweries where the Monks still make the beer themselves (along with three non-monk manual laborers). They brew just enough beer to support the monastery, around 60,000 cases a year. Except for a 2012 increase in production to cover urgent restoration costs (they exported 6 packs to the US which sold for 85 USD a piece); the production has remained constant since the 40s. They brew...