Of course, this is a mecca for beer lovers. My first time here, in the early 90s, you could just ring the bell at any time, and a monk would sell you two cases of whatever he had on hand - wonderful. Over the years, it has become progressively more difficult to get the beers at the abbey itself, and even though we once devoted a full week of speed dialing the famous number, we never got anything but a busy signal. Itís now gotten to the point where I just stop at In de Vrede across the street, and that keeps me happy.
Visited on Saturday 20th October.
We knew from the website that there was no crate collection available that day, it just stated on the website that mixed packs of 3 (2 per person) would be availble on the day subject to the stock lasting!
At least this meant we didnít have to waste many hours trying to phone through!
It was listed as being open from 13.30 to 16.30 and we got there at about 13.20 and we were already the 6th or 7th car in the queue!
We were served within about 15 minutes and the good news was that they were giving out 4 x 3 packs to each person in the car! Just the two of us but we bagged 12 each so really canít complain, way better than having to phone up endlessly!
I visited here for the first time in April 2011. It is clearly an unusual system, which seems to add to the Westvleteren Hype. We managed after 30 minutes on the phone a couple of days prior to secure 2 cases of Westy 8! When we arrived there was no queue, we just drove up in front of a big stack of crates and a monk helped us fill up. All round a pretty interesting experience!
Hard to rate, but there really isnt much to see here. A long line of cars with the lucky people picking up the beers that they have been allocated after caliing in. A huge 3 meter high wall round the monastery, making it impossible to see anything. Not a monk, or a beer in sight. A small track around the monastery makes it possible to walk around it, with the other tourists, and have a look at the walls from the other side. On the other hand, they sell the best beer in the world at dirt cheap prices. Dont think ill be back
So we went here right after In de Vrede to pick-up our to-go beers. Small shop you could walk into and purchase the beers. The limit was 6 per person (our group was 6, so we got 36 beers), and they were out of the 8, so we got a bunch of 12s and a couple of Blonds. Rather reasonable price-wise. Not much more to say beyond that... It was about 5 minutes altogether. We got our beers, got back in the car, and headed back to civilization.
Very beautiful exterior...the money from beer sales are clearly showing with the expansion that is in place. You can step inside during certain hours of the day but no photography and you must remain very quiet and respectful.
thereís not much else you can do but it is pretty. I wouldnít consider this place ratable because they abbey does not server beer, only sells it.
The first time I visited around Thanksgiving í06. Was met by a nice monk who in his broken english told me we need a reservation. Spent the next three years trying to do that. I visited two more times, but never actually picked up beer from the monks only from the cafe across the street. The monastery is very beautiful and pleasant area nestled between country landscape and fields. Worth a visit even if you do not get their beer.