Europe News

» more from Europe News

1. Westvleteren 12

Brewed by Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus
Style: Abt/Quadrupel
Origin: Westvleteren, Belgium

The small Abbey of St. Sixtus of Westvleteren attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the world, not to pray but to drink. The monastery is famous for producing what is regarded as the best beer in the world: Westvleteren 12.

Westvleteren has the smallest output of all the Trappist breweries, with the monks asking for their beer not to be resold outside the monastery. Introduced in 1940, No. 12 is so popular and produced in such small quantities that the website warns that if you call to make a reservation to buy the beer, it’s most likely that the line will be busy.

Still, it’s an improvement over the old system, where cars lined up for miles outside without any guarantee of getting the beer. The beer gets a rating of 100 by tasters overall and for its style. Pouring a medium brown, with little head and the aroma of dark fruits, it is described by enthusiasts as a complex beer that lives up to its reputation as the best in the world.

Photo courtesy: Stephen Boisvert