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Beer Lovers ... Heaven is a Place on Earth!

On this my third visit to Belgium and being a craft beer enthusiast from the U.S. I was fortunate... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Meander241944
,
Ashland, Wisconsin
via mobile
Less phone calls this time.

This time it took 150 phone calls to reserve our 2 crates of westvleteren 12. You must have plenty... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
angelaruby
,
wales
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All reviews for sale buy beer gift shop per person across the street great beer take away toasted sandwich pate bread their website beer lovers westvleteren beer public transportation worth the effort worth the trip beer run
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

On this my third visit to Belgium and being a craft beer enthusiast from the U.S. I was fortunate to make a pilgrimage to one of the centers of the beer universe, Sint Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, Vleteren, Belgium.

Our visit occurred towards the end of October, 2018 on a beautiful fall day.

To buy beer, we decided to go the simplest route of picking up the maximum of two 6-packs of Westvleteren beer each from their gift shop. We arrived shortly after opening and the wait in line took maybe 20-25 minutes. If desired, you can purchase additional 6-packs by simply getting back in line. Repeat as needed. On this day, they only had the Westvleteren 12 and Blond for sale. I noticed an hour or so later, the line was much shorter.

We enjoyed a short walk about the public area of the grounds. Not much to see publicly anyway.

I would suggest enjoying a beer or two inside or out on their patio as we did. A simple menu, likely indicative of the Trappist monks themselves is offered. On this day I enjoyed glass of Westvleteren 8 and Blond beers, Boterham met Abdipate (Bread with Abbey Pate) sandwich. For dessert, Coupe “In de Vrede” en Trappist (Ice made with Trappist beer). The ice cream was amazingly delicious and I would highly recommend it!

Overall, when visiting Belgium and if you’re a craft beer enthusiast Sint Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, Vleteren, Belgium is a must stop to enjoy one of the best and rarest beers in the world!

NOTE on buying beer by the case, please read the buying beer page on their website for detailed instructions.

Basically in order to buy a maximum of two cases of Westvleteren beer the process is more involved and requires much patience and perseverance. You have to call a phone number listed on their website, and if you’re fortunate to get through, follow the instructions, leave your vehicle license plate number. Then on the day of pickup wait in a long line of cars and get your beer. IMPORTANT: depending on dates/days of pickups only certain beers may be available, so do your research for the beer type you want. Via your license plate number you are limited to two cases per 60 days.

Thank Meander241944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This time it took 150 phone calls to reserve our 2 crates of westvleteren 12. You must have plenty of patience Have to say well worth it. We were lucky that after collecting our beer we visited the shop. They were selling Westvleteren 5 so we bought 2 boxes each. After relieving us of nearly 200 euros....i know it sounds a lot but we do have 30 euros deposit to come back to us from the crates and bottles.This was our fifth visit. Will definatley be returning even if its to get our deposit back to put towards some beer from the shop.

Thank angelaruby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2018

This was my third visit, first on my own, so I devoted time to people watching. Sign posting is getting better to get there ….. leave crumbs to find your way back! It is difficult to believe that you are not driving into a someone's farm yard the roads are that obscure. Anyhow as it was a hot day much of Flanders was staying for a "swift half". You can visit the more calm religious house aspect, although I was bemused to see family with small child having roll on the floor tantrum, enough to see another similar age watching stunned at the behaviour, trek into the cloisters! Beer is good and stick to the basics and all should be well! I just sat and chilled with a glass and a couple of spa waters as it was so hot!

Thank Beverley H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2018

Being avid cyclists we have been to hundreds of cafes and sampled a fair few European beers - so based on reviews here we were really looking forward to visiting this particular part of Belgium.

We sat down - waiter rushed around tables and eventually arrived at ours - we placed multiple orders for coffee and (the local) almond & hop cake and fruit pie. Have to say, at this point the waiter made us feel like were were on a stopwatch.....ok.... can live with that once or twice if people or busy, but....

...only the coffee arrived and one portion of pie....we waited....and waited...nothing else arrived...so went to the shop counter buy a case of the 'famous' beer...

NOTE: Nothing has prices on it!!! (except for the cases of beer) - so you are at the end of the queue with a pile of stuff trying to find out how much it all costs. Ouch, 23euros for 6 bottles!!!! (cake, biscuits or chocolate prices!!! - ridiculous - beware!) ...30 euros for a bit of cake, 6 chocolates and 6 bottles of beer!!!!.....returned to the table....stunned!

...still no food???

Really disappointed - this feels like a commercial operation - no sense of reverence or history.

Maybe the saving grace was the 'unique' beer...Ok...we tried the beer on return. The '8' is 8 percent - BUT the 12 is NOT 12 percent - its 10 point something? - so a big marketing gimmick from the monks that doesn't seem completely up front and honest?

The taste test.... it tasted of very little. Its brown, very alcoholic - slightly sweet - but you can easily buy far better tasting beer in the supermarket from Adnams in the UK or simply visit a local micro brewery. It's like a bottle of Leffe Brun and a shot of vodka - but wth far less taste.

We thought the Belgians knew how to brew interesting beer. It could have easily been any old brown beer flavouring syrup with industrial alcohol added.

Got to be the lowlight of the year as far as cycling/cafe visits are concerned.

Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2018 via mobile

Re-visited this hallowed establishment almost exactly three years to the day after my prior visit, this time with the same friend I went with last time plus two Uruguayan pals who were very excited to join.

The drive to the Abbey is enjoyable, and arrival at the café is a near-religious experience. We began with the blonde ale, then the 8, then the 12. The food is obviously secondary, as you need it to absorb the alcohol. I had forgotten how dreadful the croque monsieur is, so you're better off ordering bread and cheese and/or pâté. Might as well get it with accompanying salad for a few € extra. The special dessert of almond cake with hops was very good.

Recall you are at an Abbey cafe and not a Michelin-ranked restaurant. It's a simple place with nice friendly service, but bear in mind it is rather plain in keeping with traditions.

You are herewith reminded about the policy regarding purchasing six-beer boxes to take away: two per person MAXIMUM. So if you are four people you can buy eight six-beer boxes. As with my last visit they had only the blonde and 12 for sale; my friend says they only seldom have had the 8 for sale on his visits.

1  Thank stevenm00001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2018

What can I say..............Anyone who is a beer bore (like me lol) has heard of Westvleteren 12 so we detoured on the way to Ypres to buy a case.We arrive at about 13.30 so the beer from the Abbey had not that long been delivered and we managed to get some.Be warned tho.........Its first come,first served in the shop and I can tell you it goes VERY quick.You are also limited to 2 cases (12 bottles).There is a way to order crates of it and we will do that next time.It is a real effort to do this but it will be worth it.If you dont believe me just do some research on the net and find out how to order.There was a steady stream of cars picking up "preordered" crates in what I can only describe as a "beer drive thru" but be warned - you have to order!
After buying our 2 cases of fabled Westvleteren 12 at the shop we sat and had a glass on draught at the cafe.I got the 12 and my wife got a blonde one but she ended up trying mine,loving it and drinking most of it..............the rest is history lol.Also had a lovely toasted sandwich each which was delicious,reasonably priced and served by our helpful and friendly waiter.I have no hesitation to recommend the food and beer here and will certainly be popping in again.

2  Thank CambsAdamski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2018

We were lucky enough to be able to attend the afternoon prayer inside the abbey. This is not usually possible unless you know someone. On top of that, we were lucky enough to get through on their beer line and purchase two cases of the Westvleteren 12. If you are in the area it's definitely worth stopping by and trying a beer or two in the cafe across the street.

Thank SDEMT6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2017

My daughter loves the beer made here, so when we are in Belgium we stop off, I love the cafe attached and so does my husband, he likes the beer ice cream, I love the cheese and pate, you have to get here early to buy the beer to take home, once it is gone that's it until the next day

2  Thank ElaineShaw62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2017

when comes to beer, yeah Belgium is the kingdom of brewery. the location isn’t easily reached by public transportation. I’m not so sure if there is public transportation passing by the road of this location. but if you’re really beer lover, this brewery is a must visit in Belgium. Westvleteren is one of the 6 international trappist association recognized breweries in Belgium and so has the right to place the logo of ATP (Authentic Trappist Product) on their bottles.

as for the ATP Beer, Belgium has 6 and the other countries are 1 in Netherland, 1 in Austria, 1 in USA, and 1 in Italy. Actually there are more trappist beer in the world, but as per 2017 only 11 which classified as ATP.

Thank Wilwa_Tikta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2017

Beer for diehard beer geeks. The food reminds you that this is an abbey and sacrifices must be made, but the beers redeem the sins of the food and the service. If you're really lucky the store will be selling beer. Hot Tip: get in the beer line FIRST, before eating, it really sells out fast even though the amount you can buy per person is limited.

3  Thank groupwww
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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