The Trappist monks of St Sixtus abbey in Westvleteren, Flanders have launched a website for lovers of their Westvleteren beer, regarded as the world’s best beer, in order to beat resellers.
The monks make a limited amount of their famous brew – 6,000 hectolitres, about 1m pints – produced annually over 42 brewing days and the beer is much sought after by beer lovers.
The new website is designed for customers to order a maximum of two crates of Westvleteren but they will still need to come to the St. Sixtus abbey in Belgium in order to collect them as the monks don’t do shipping.
It is part of their efforts to stop people reselling their beer at inflated prices. Las year the group of 19 monks were disappointed to find their beer sold in a Dutch supermarket at five times the price sold by the monks.
The monks brew three types of beer – a blonde that is 5.8% alcohol, and Westvleteren 8 and 12. Westvleteren 12, at 10.2 vol., regularly tops lists of the world’s best beer. The website requires personal details of the customer and will allow the monks to track and trace individual bottles to buyers should they end up for resale elsewhere.
A crate of 24 bottle of the delicious Trappist beer will set you back €45 when bought directly from the abbey.
Brother Manu van Hecke, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery said, “The new sales system meets the needs of many Westvleteren enthusiasts. We have thought long and hard about a good and customer-friendly alternative. Beer sales at the abbey will remain exclusively aimed at private customers.
“The web store is therefore only accessible to consumers, not to professional buyers. We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to purchase Trappist Westvleteren at the correct price. Anyone who does not adhere to the sales rules and abuses the system will be denied access to the online store.”