Wednesday 13 September 2017

Westvleteren 12

The first stop on the latest IBD study tour of Belgium was at the In De Vedre cafe, the only cafe at which the Westvleteren monks sell their beer. I had to try the Westvleteren 12 whilst I was there. Beer geeks have often voted it the best beer in the world, but I'd never had it myself.

It was good, and I'd happy drink it again. But is it the best beer in the world? No, nice though it was it's not even my favourite Trappist beer. It's rarity leads to over-hyping I'm afraid. So drink it if you find it, but don't fret if you don't.


  1. Quite agree. W-12 is "the best beer in the world" because the Beer Raters say so... after all they have tried it and you haven't. ;-)

    To be fair I don't think it is at its best at In De Vedre. It improves quite a lot with 6 months, or more, ageing in the bottle.

    Still...the best beer in the world? Nah. And anyway, what does that mean?

  2. I suppose I should have bought some bottles really but I didn't fancy getting in the queue. 'Best beer in the world' is a bit daft reallly, but hey, it gives us things to blog about!

  3. Definitely not sure about the 'Best beer in the world' thing.

    I visited De Vedre, just over two years ago. It was a gorgeous, warm sunny afternoon in late August. A 10% beer didn't seem appropriate, so instead I went for the 5.8% Westvleteren Blonde (green cap), which was excellent. I have never seen this beer on sale anywhere else, so this was the perfect opportunity to acquaint myself with it.

    Sitting out in the warm late summer sunshine, sipping this perfectly chilled blonde master-piece of a beer in the company of a group of like-minded beer enthusiasts, was just perfect.

    Did I miss out by not trying the Westvleteren 12? No, there will be other, more appropriate occasions to sample it. I was unable to buy any bottles to take out though, as being a Sunday, the place was packed out with coach loads of thirsty Belgians. Between them they had wiped out the day's stock of take-away bottles, and being a Sunday it wasn't appropriate for the cafe staff to go knocking on the Abbey door for more supplies!