Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Best Beer In the World!

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Monks at a Belgian abbey have been forced to stop selling their famous beer after it was voted the best in the world and was promptly sold out.

The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in western Belgium is home to some 30 Cistercian and

Trappist monks who lead a life of seclusion, prayer, manual labor -- and beer-brewing.

A survey of thousands of beer enthusiasts from 65 countries on the RateBeer Web site ( in June rated the Westvleteren 12 beer as the world's best.

But the abbey only has a limited brewing capacity, and was not able to cope with the beer's sudden popularity.

"Our shop is closed because all our beer has been sold out," said a message on the abbey's answering machine, which it calls the "beer phone."

And the abbey has no intention of boosting its capacity to satisfy market demand.

"We are not brewers, we are monks. We brew beer to be able to afford being monks," the father abbot said on the abbey's Web site.

Monk Mark Bode told De Morgen daily: "Outsiders don't understand why we are not raising production. But for us life in the abbey comes first, not the brewery."

[Emphasis mine] Talk about priorities! How hard was that!!

[Yesterday was Day 3 of painting: 5 hours of LATTE for the 3rd bedroom upstairs, which will be Amy's office. Delicious!]


  1. yeah, fix that spam, would you? :)

    This post is funny -- and cool. I listened to NPR on the way to work about the pilgrims going to hear Pope Benedict at World Youth Day this Sunday in Germany, and lots of them are buying Benedictine beer along the way that's being marketed for the occasion!

    It's cool that these monks aren't going to increase production to their expanding market.


  2. Donica says that if they started increasing production, as in mass production, it would undoubtably change the quality of the beer. I'm sure. The thing I like about the story is that as long as their basic needs are met, why do they need more money! They could justify making more for charity, etc. but then they'd probably lose the quality of their contemplative life.

  3. BTW, I figured out how to delete the spam! :)

  4. I have a Belgian in-law ("Belgium: a country invented by the British to annoy the French") and he regularly gets supplies of beer from home. You have to treat that stuff with caution since it's lovely but also brewed at rhino-stunning strengths. One, the world is fine. Two you get mildly hallucinogenic strobings in your peripheral vision. Three and the next thing you know is the next day. "Belgium" is also the worst swearword in the galaxy, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.