As a Belgian person I am unable to imagine Belgium without its beer, it is our pride and forte. In 2017 our beer culture was officially made a part of the world heritage by UNESCO. And the one beer that is very famous around the word and very hard to get is Westvleteren. It was even selected twice as best beer in the world. The abbey that produces this beer is located in Westvleteren, only 15 km away from Ieper.
There are a few places where you can find this beer if you are not able to go to the abbey directly. Sometimes a few specialized beer shops (for example in Bruges) will sell this beer per bottle. Be aware though, the price for one bottle at these shops can go up to 12 or 15 euro. While the price for a crate of 24 bottles at the abbey is between 35 and 45 euro, depending on which variety of the beer you choose (they will return 15 euro if you bring back the wooden crate and the empty bottles).
If you can go to the abbey there are two different ways to acquire this heavenly beer. Having a car available is a necessity for the first possibility. First you have to go to their site and check the available days on the calendar. Once you have find a date, you need to call the abbey to make an appointment (this can take some time since a lot of people are interested in the beer). You will also be obliged to give them the number plate of the car you will use to get your crates of Westvleteren. You can only take a specific amount of beer from the abbey and you need to wait 60 days before you can use the same car again to buy the bed. If you would like to buy some more beer with a different car before the 60 days are over you can do this if you use a different phone number as well. Private numbers will also not be able to get connected to the abbey. The final way to get your hands on this beer is to go visit the cafetaria "In de vrede". They sell Westvleteren in their shop (per six bottles). Please note that their supply is limited.
It might take some time before you can get your hand in this beer, but if you are a beer lover it might be worth the trouble. You can also ask the waiters in a cafeteria if the beer is available, even if its not written on the menu, you never know that you might get lucky and they have some. As we would say in Dutch before drinking "Proost" and enjoy your Belgian beer.
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