Westvleteren beer blog

New and information about the world of Westvleteren, Trappists and Belgian beers.

Westvleteren XII

Everyone knows the name of our favourite beer is "Westvleteren 12" but sometimes it's labelled as "westvleteren XII". This version of the name just replaces the "12" with the roman numerals, which turns the name in to "Westvleteren XII". The normal Westvleteren bottles one can find for sale at the abbey don't have any markings on them at all. In fact the bottle is the same as the Westmalle bottle. The latter does have a label and apart from that it says "TRAPPIST" on the glass rim of the bottle. The bottle of Westvleteren 12 that are normally obtained at…

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Sweden stops sale of exploding beer cans

Beer is doing some strange things in Sweden. The beer in question is called Aro Noir, which is produced by Garage Project in New Zealand and the strange thing it's doing is ... exploding. Cans of Aro Noir beer (see profile of Aro Noir on Ratebeer) were starting to explode in various locations all over Sweden, as was reported by the Swedish authorities. They therefore took the decision to halt its sales last Friday.The only exploding Westvleteren 12 has done is in popularity, ever since being rated as best beer in the world several times over, by websites such as Ratebeer…

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Belgian beer on the UNESCO world heritage list?

Westvleteren and the Trappist family of Belgian beers that it belongs to are some of the oldest beers our country knows. That our beer traditions are known all over the world is no secret and now it looks like it will be recognised as being worthy of "world heritage" status by UNESCO. The decision will be made during an upcoming UNESCO meeting, taking place between 28 November and 2 December.The proposal was submitted by the Federation of Belgian Brewers and supported by the Belgian government. Seventy new dossiers with potential cultural heritage material will be looked at during this meeting. Apart…

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Brussels Beer Challenge 2016

This Friday, around 80 international judges will assemble for the 5th Brussels Beer Challenge. The event will continue until Sunday and take place at the Bourse. Up to 1200 beers from all over the world will be tested, tasted and judged. The famous brewing competition has an international character and gets more and more popular each year. During previous years the challenge took place in Brussels (2012), Liege (2013), Leuven (2014) and Antwerp (2015). So this year, for its fifth birthday the competition returns it's "home" in Brussels.The competition is an opportunity for Belgian brewers to consider their position in the…

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Belgium’s biggest brewer taking over more smaller breweries

AB InBev is Belgium’s biggest brewer and indeed the world’s biggest producer of beer. It all started with InterBrew, which merged with Brazil’s AmBev. It then acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2008 to create Anheuser-Busch InBev. They have operations in over 30 countries and sell in more than 130. The beer brewing behemoth keeps buying up more and more smaller breweries, much to the frustration of beer lovers all over the world who tend to shun corporate brewers.The company’s streak of takeovers continues with the purchase of the Belgian Bosteels Brewery. These guys make Kwak, DeuS and (a personal favorite) Tripel Karmeliet. With…

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Are there too many different types of beer?

American researchers have established that there are around 150 different types of beer in the world. Paul Aerts, a Belgian professor at the university of Leuven claims that this should just be reduced to around twenty. Otherwise consumers risk losing track of everything and just becoming confused. This was announced at the twelfth “Trends in Brewing” fair which just took place in the Belgian city of Ghent.American professor Paul Hughes from Oregon State University confirms that 150 different styles of beer only serves to confuse the consumer. When tastings and competitions take place, the never ending list of categories just confirms…

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Leffe drinker takes brewery to court

An American beer lover is taking world’s largest brewer, Belgium’s AB Inbev, to court because the Leffe he bought wasn’t actually brewed by monks in an abbey. H Vasquez claims that the label says otherwise.The label says something along the lines of “brewed and perfected by Belgian monks since 1240”. This tradition would have been supported until now by “750 years of Belgian tradition”. The label also shows a picture of a church tower and an abbey.Vasquez thought that this beer must therefore clearly be brewed in a brewery, as is the case with other Belgian beers like Chimay Rouge…

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Belgian beer popular as ever - even in Muslim countries

The Belgian beer brewery Duvel Moortgat, that’s behind popular beers such as Duvel, Chouffe, Liefmans and Maredsous has closed a deal with a beer importer in Indonesia - world’s most populous muslim country.Until recently the only places you could find Belgian Beers in Indonesia was in the hipper touristy areas. But at the end of last year the first shipping container filled with Duvel and Liefmans arrived in Jakarta.Eighty percent of Indonesians are muslim and the religion there is practised in a modern and moderate way, which is obvious from the fact that beer and other alcoholic beverages are relatively easy…

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All about Beers in Belgium and Brussels

Belgian Beer almost always has 4 fixed ingredients from which many different types and “styles” of beer are made. It’s very difficult to formulate a definitive classification of beer styles. When trying to classify a beer there are various factors to take in to account, such alcohol content, color, economics (mass produced or not), traditions (Trappists beers like Westvleteren 12 or Oude Gueze), variations of ingredients (wheat beers, fruit beers) and quantities (tripel beers having a higher density and thus more sugars and alcohol). All these elements play a role in the naming of Belgian beers.The most scientific approach to classify…

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German beers tained with herbicide?

Recently a report has surfaced claiming that several beers in Germany have been tainted with the herbicide Glyphosate. This product is also known as RoundUp and is produced by Monsanto. The Germans are very strict about what’s allowed to be in a beer, due to their “Reinheitsgebot” (the German Beer Purity Law). Needless to say, a herbicide  is not the kind of thing that you’re expected to find in a beer.Another crushed dream - our favourite amber beverage which often claims to be a product of only natural ingredients seems to be tainted with the herbicide Glyphosate. This news was picked…

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Archeological works uncover ancient beer brewery in Brussels

In Brussels, at the Fontainas Park the foundations of an ancient beer brewery have been discovered. For several months now archeologists have been conducting digging works. Their plan is to actually dig deeper and search artefacts of the Middle Ages and the Roman times.The park is located right in the centre of the city, opposite the famous Moeder Lambic bar. In the 19030s, during the construction of a large building in the area, foundations has to be poured during which some old Roman coins were discovered. These were dated as being from the 3rd century AD. A little later, in…

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how another seller of Westvleteren was wildly throwing around false accusations about me selling non authentic beer. After writing this post the accusations were quickly removed, but the screenshots are still available at the bottom of this pageSome of his own Facebook fans questioned his reasons for making these accusations after noticing I offered much better deals compared to his widely overinflated prices. Today I’m happy to announce that our good friend has launched a new website! While it certainly looks like he’s doing his best, he’s also blindly copying content from…

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Cooking with beer #2: Trappist, tripple and Abbey beers

Cooking with Blonde Abbey beers have a slightly yellow to gold color and are beers of high fermentation. They are characterised by a malty and relatively neutral, slightly sweet and full flavour. They have a pleasantly bitter and rather dry after taste. These kind of blonde abbey beers can be used as dressing for salads where you can substitute vinegar and wine vinegar with blonde abbey beer. You can use them in muscle dishes where the clams will become extra fragrant thanks to having been cooked / boiled in this beer. Baked muscles get a slightly spicy and fresh touch…

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Cooking with beer #1 - introduction

Let’s crack open a beer to celebrate the start of a new series of blog posts about “Cooking with beer”! Rule #1 - Don’t use too much beerWhen cooking with beer, the best results are obtained by using the right amount of beer. The proportions should be correct in the sense that you shouldn’t use too much beer or you stand the risk of the taste overpowering the dish. This means you should add the beer gradually so that it doesn’t form the “backbone” of the recipe but rather adds subtile touches of its taste to the recipe. Beers like trappists…

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Order sizes increased to 12 bottles per order!

I frequently get emails from both existing and prospective customers asking me if it’s possible to buy more than just 6 bottles of Westvleteren per order.I’m happy to announce that you can now order up to 12 bottles per order! What’s more, this is the best value for money. If you want to buy Westvleteren at a great price this is the box you should get.Previously it wasn’t possible to ship 12 bottles because I didn’t have the proper boxes. I don’t just use any box to send out my beers. The boxes are specially sized to be as small as…

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The biggest brewery you've never heard of

Here’s one beer that I won’t be selling anytime soon, and you probably have never heard of - “Buval Pils”. This is the beer sold in Aldi, the discount supermarket chain found all over Europe.What’s striking is how similar the design of their can looks to the Jupiler cans that us Belgians love to so much (apparently 44% of all beer sold in Belgium is Jupiler).Our country’s biggest brewer, AB Inbev is trying to sue the brewer behind the Buval Pils. One that hardly anyone has heard of, called Martens, who are based in Limburg in the east of Belgium.What’s…

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Response to accusations

It has come to my attention that two websites (westvleterenshop.com and westvleterenbeers.com) have plastered a warning on their pages accusing me of selling "Non authentic Westvleteren".My response is that this is of course I sell only authentic Westvleteren.There is no such thing as "non authentic Westvleteren". I'm not sure what a "non authentic" beer would be and to the best of my knowledge there are no Belgian beers being somehow copied or sold under a different name.Obviously, all Westvleteren comes from the Sint Sixtus abbey. Wherever you buy Westvleteren and regardless of the price, you will always get "the real…

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The resurrection of the Brussels’ beer scene

Belgium is widely regarded as the beer capital of the world. It’s therefore hard to imagine that until recently, not that much beer is actually brewed in Belgium’s capital Brussels. That’s now changing. Althought it’s still quite low, the production of beer in Brussels has increased 5-fold since the year 2010.Brussels’ best known brewery is probably Cantillon in Anderlecht. They brew Lambic, a beer that’s unique to Brussels and the surrounding areas. Their production levels were around 1800 hectoliter and half of that was destined for export to the US.The total production of Brussels’ beers now lies around 10.300 hectoliters, which…

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Brewing Homer Simpsons favorite beer

Everyone knows Homer Simpson as the useless father of Bart and Lisa who pretends to work in a nuclear powerplant for the evil Mr Smithers.Like every hard working man Homer enjoys a good beer, in his case this is the fictional Duff beer. Duff beer is the most popular beer in Springfield and the beer brand has its own mascot - Duffman!The neighboring enemy town of Shelbyville also has their own beer which is called Fudd and is probably far inferior to Duff beer.Duff beer has a theme park called Duff Gardens where Bart and Lisa learned there are 28…

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Bruge's Halve Maan brewery crowdfunding project for construction of beer pipeline

Bruges is a well known city in Belgium, perhaps the most touristy and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Belgium and made famous by the movie “In Bruges”. Now it has another reason for fame - back in January it was reported that the city would build an underground pipeline to move beer through the city. One of the reasons for building this “beer tunnel” is to unclog the roads. At the moment around 500 trucks drive around with the sole purpose of transporting beer. An obvious eco friendly solution would therefore be to do this underground.The pipeline…

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Tre Fontane - new official trappist beer

Big news in the world of trappist beers! An Italian beer that goes by the name of Tre Fontane received recognition as being an “authentic Trappist product”. This happened around the beginning of May, bringing the total number of official Trappist beers to 11. This is the first Italian trappist beer, hailing from the Tre Fontane abbey in Rome.Apart from beer, the abbey also produces typical Italian olive oil as well as honey, chocolate and liquor. The official Trappist organisation received an application from the monastery to recognise their beer and after a brief visit to the abbey the beer…

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Brussels gets a Beer temple

Right in the centre of Brussels you can find the old Stock Exchange building (Beursgebouw or La Bourse). It’s a very central location that’s often used a meeting or reference point for locals and tourists a like.Recently the city announced that they plan on converting the space in to a Brussels Beer temple. Even though Belgium is probably best known for all the beer we have here, there hasn’t really been a museum or exposition to promote our favorite beverage. Until now!The city recently approved the plans and the Beer temple is scheduled to open around 2018. The beer temple,…

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Ice cream flavoured beer

Ben and Jerry’s makes tasty ice cream with flavours like “salted caramel & brownie”. What about a beer with this taste? The famous American ice cream manufacturer decided this would be a good idea and started a colaboration with New Belgium Brewing to launch a beer which they call Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. Don’t start running to the stores just yet - the beer will only be available in the fall. Us poor souls here in Belgium probably won’t have the luck to find this beer in our stores but it should be widely available in the US. The reason for…

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Brussels Beer Project. Baby Lone - a beer made from bread

Brussels Beer Project is a collective that uses crowd sourcing methods to decide what type of beer they will brew. So far they have created 4 beers this way, including Grosse Bertha and Delta. Now they've just announced the creation of their fifth beer called "Baby Lone". What's special about this one is that it's a "bread bitter" which uses white bread as one of its ingredients. The thought of brewing beer from bread seems a little weird but it seems this has been done before. In Eastern Europe there's a thing called "Kvass" which is a fermented beverage that's made from…

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Surprising health advantage of beer

Belgian beer, and indeed all beers and alcohol generally have a bad reputation when it comes to health. Recent media reports have suggested that moderate consumption of red wine is good for one's health and now there are reports suggesting the same for beer."Xanthohumol" is a substance which is found in female hop plants (Humulus Lupulus), one of the main ingredients of beer. It is a type of flavonoid which has long been suspected of having several health advantages. Flavonoids are often found in plants where they provide the colour to the plant. They have recently been studied more and more, whether…

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A new wave of Belgian beer brewers?

Us Belgians have been brewing beer for almost as long as we can remember. It's always been a traditional skill. Monks have been brewing Belgian beer inside the walls of their monasteries and families have been doing it while handing the secrets down to successive generations. Belgian beers are characteristally "traditional": The names often refer to the towns where the brewing took place and the labels feature ancient imagery like emblems or coats of arms. The recipes are usually very old.Now a new wave of Belgian beer brewers is causing some comotion in the industry. The concept of "startups" is…

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4 Unusual Westvleteren products

Apart from just drinking beer, it seems some people get inventive and use our favorite beverage to create all kinds of things you wouldn't expect. You might already know that our beloved Westvleteren beer is used as an ingredient for several kind of food that are produced here in Belgium. First up is a dessert made with Westvleteren 12. Baker Pedro Ameel in Oostvleteren makes a mousse which served in typical small glasses. The monks exceptionally gave permission for him to use their beer to create this dessert. The mouse is quite "light" and the beer taste isn't overpowering. It's available…

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Beer for Bitcoin!

Recently I added a new form of payment to the website - Bitcoin. The fact that you can now buy Westvleteren with Bitcoin must be a world premier!You probably have heard of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that's getting more and more popular. Despite its ups and downs, it's getting more and more Positive press. American retailers and companies like Overstock, Newegg and even Microsoft now accept it for payment of goods. In Europe the retailer showroomprive.com and Monoprix also accept it as a form of payment. Advantages of Bitcoin are: reduced processing costs, no cross border transfer fees and significant decreased…

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How to buy Westvleteren

As you know, Westvleteren trappist beer is among the highest rated in the world. It's brewed in a Trappist Abbey in the Belgian town of Westvleteren, close to the French border, located at about 140Km from the capital of Brussels. Three different beers are brewed in this abbey: A blonde "Westvleteren 6" wuth a green cap, the Westvleteren 8 with the blue cap and finally the mythical Westvleteren 12" with the yellow cap.These beers were fairly unknown, especially outside the world of beer connaiseurs, until about 10 years ago, when the website Ratebeer voted it as being the best beer…

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The twelve best Belgian beers in the world

Twelve of the best beers in the world are Belgian. Westvleteren has two beers in the top 100 and one single Belgian brewery has four separate beers in the top 100. Ratebeer is one of the most influential websites in the world of beer lovers. They've been credited with making Westvleteren 12 "famous" to the general public, proclaiming it several times as one of the best, and certainly one of the most elusive Trappist beers in the world.In its recent publication of "100 best beers" for 2015 there are 12 Belgian beers. First up two of our beloved Westvleteren beers:"Westvleteren 12…

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Best place in the world to have a beer ?

A recent poll on Ratebeer has again resulted in Belgium winning a few of the top spots. This time we're talking about "best places to have a beer" and "In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst" ranks very highly.In this list there are 8 Belgian locations (bars, breweries, ...) which Ratebeer says are among the best place to have a beer. I'm not sure if any of these serve our beloved Westvleteren beer, but they surely deserve a visit. While the number one position is taken by a Swedish location, the number 2 spot is a Belgian place not that far…

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What is the meaning of Trappist ?

Trappist beers are widely known among people who like a good beer but not everybody knows exact what "trappist" means and how it relates to beer."Trappists" are monks that belong to the Order of Cistercians, which is a Roman Catholic religious order of monastics. The nuns in this order are called "Trappistines".The historical roots of this religious order actually doesn't lie in Belgium as one would expect, but with the La Trappe Abbey. The movement started after a relaxation of practises among Cistercian monasteries. The Trappists separated from the Cistercian order and after approval of the Pope, formed an completely…

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Old trappist = good trappist

Trappist beers is what we specialise in here. They are old, classic (mostly) Belgian beers that have stood the tests of time and are generally loved all over the world.The Belgian media recently reported that a bar owner who was carrying out renovation on his property discovered 14 vats of beer buried underground. Ten of those vats contained the Dutch "La Trappe" beer. A quick calculation led them to believe these vats were more than 10 years old, having been bought in 2004. Inexplicably, the new owner of the bar buried these vats to use them as a foundation for a structure…

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An Icelandic beer with unusual ingredients ...

While we have a big preference for classic or hard-to-find Belgian beers, sometimes you have to broaden your horizons and try something unusual. Microbreweries getting very popular lately, in Europe and especially in the US. A small brewery in Iceland called Stedji has recently started brewing beer that has the unusual ingredient of "sheep-shit smoked whale balls", in addition to the more normal and pleasing ingredients we're used to, such as malted barley and hops. That's right.The brewery describes itself as a recently established micro-brewery that uses the appealing crystal clear water that comes from a local Icelandic spring. They claim…

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History of Westvleteren

This post explains a bit about the history of our beloved beer and the monastery that makes it: The recent history of the Saint Sixtus abbey of Westvleteren can be traced back to a man called Jan-Baptist Victoor. During the winter of 1814 he purchased 12 hectares of land in the woods around Westvleteren with the goal of setting up a monastery honouring the virgin Mary and living a monastic life. He left Poperinge, the village where he lived and went to settle on this land. Thirty years prior to this he already lived as a hermit, but this was…

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Terms & conditions

Welcome to Westvleteren-for-sale.com! These terms and conditions outline the rules and regulations for the use of Westvleteren-for-sale.com's website. westvleteren-for-sale.com is located at: --- St Gilles Barriere Rue Sterckx 5-BP1000 1060 Brussels Belgium By accessing this website we assume you accept these terms and conditions in full. Do not continue to use Westvleteren-for-sale.com's website if you do not accept all of the terms and conditions stated on this page. The following terminology applies to these Terms and Conditions, Privacy Statement and Disclaimer Notice and any or all Agreements: "Client", “You” and “Your” refers to you, the person accessing this website and…

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