After my first home brew experience, I shared with my fellow brewers a Wastvelteren 12, also known as the “Best Beer in the World”. It is a 10.2% Quadrupel brewed by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren), is a brewery founded in 1838 at the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus in Vleteren, Belgium. They began selling this particular brew to the public in 1940.
It was in the early 2000’s when the beer exploded in popularity as Rate Beer.com dubbed it “The Best Beer in the World”. The brewery went from having 30 some visitor’s a day to lines out the door trying to buy the brew.
There are 11 Trappist monasteries producing beer currently, Brouwerij, produces the fewest amount of gallons (126,000) a year, where Chimay produced the most, (3.2 million). Despite the demand, Brouwerij has no desire to increase production, the brewing process is solely to support their monastery.
The monks brew 70 days out of the year. 5 brew, 5 bottle, on the original copper kettles, the only monastery to keep theirs during both world wars. And the beer retails $2 a bottle at the brewery. Fascinating.
The brew was perfect. I have never had anything like it. Fruity, sweet, datey, pruney, with hints of candied sugar. There was no burn despite its high ABV, it was dangerously smooth. I hope to meet this beer again someday….maybe even visit where its from.