Hard to rate this place. Itís obviously a must-visit location for any beer geek worth his or her malt. How do you rate "selection" when they have just three of the worldís best beers which are now so difficult to get anywhere else? Judge for yourself - come here, sit on the patio on a sunny day (every day I have been to In De Vrede has been a sunny day), start with the blonde and a croque, then have an 8 and the ice cream made with the 12. You wonít be sorry.
Visited October 2012 with chinoskillzian and womencantsail.
This is the holy pilgrimage for all beer nerds (in an only slightly sacrilegious way) that everyone needs to experience once, possibly more often if youíre going to pick up cases of beer. The original plan was to stay at the St Bernardus inn and rent bicycles from them to ride to Westvleteren, Struise, and a few other places, but it was dumping rain. Luckily we had a perfectly good Ford Focus diesel rental car with built in navigation. Upon arriving I learned that In de Vrede is a bit more modern than I had expected. They also have a bit more merchandise than I would guessed. They serve snacks and of course the three beers. You can drink all the Westvleteren beer you can handle here. Naturally we ordered one of each and tried them all side by side. I learned that they donít keg any of their beer, even for in house consumption. I also learned that they are not immune to infections. The blonde was funky. Seriously. It was actually quite delicious in itís off state but I have never had a Westvleteren Blond that tasted like that. The 12 fresh was too boozy and not ready to be consumed. The 8 was very good as was the blond. To be honest I enjoyed the rural small town setting as much as the cafť, despite the fact that it was after tourist season so everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) was under construction.
One more thing that I will add, as a point of pride (because I called it), that after having the whole St Bernardus and Westvleteren lineups in the same day, Abt walks all over Westvleteren 12. No contest. Admittedly the Westy 8 is better than the Prior 8, but in terms of the big bad quad that everyone wants, just drink the St Bernardus that you can get at your local (better) liquor store.
Excellent cafe out in the countryside right near St. Sixtus. A great place to enjoy a few Westvleteren beers and perhaps a small snack. Always pretty crowded, but very quick service. The best prices youíll find on the beers outside of buying crates at the brewery. The building itself is quite beautiful, particularly on the interior.
Fin (1066) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | June 23, 2009
Have been here a couple of times now and both via pleasant cycle rides through the West Flanders countryside form Ypres (Ieper) a couple of years ago and most recently 10-06-09 from Kemmel. The cafe I once amusingly heard descibed by a fellow UK rater as being like a Ski Chalet, he was right, ironic that then that it is in such a flat area. Itís rather clinical and lacking in atmosphere unfortunately but the beers are what youíre here for and at prices ranging between 3-4 Euroís as I recall quite reasonable for such top class beverages. Itís worth popping by here just to try the beers but then nip off to a proper beer cafe somewhere after for a real Belgian Cafe and beer experience.
Visited on SAturday 20th October at 1.45 pm and managed to bag one of the few spare tables.
The place was pretty packed, a fair number of US tourists and a number of Dutch, French and Belgians judgeing from the accents and the car stickers in the car park.
Service was pretty good despite it being busy, our beers came 2 or so minutes and our food after about 10.
Excellent pate with bread and salad.
No beers available to take away on this visit as Iím aware bricks are sometimes available.
Well worth popping buy if youíre in the area. Cost was E4.70 for a 10 and E4.20 for an 8. Didnít have the Blonde whilst we were there.
If you donít have a reservation at Westvleteren, this is a good alternative. The beer range is what it is but the value is decent and you can get the Westies to take away. The food is pretty basic. The ambiance is something like a gift shop mixed with a tourist information centre that also serves world class beer and average food. Certainly worth visiting, though.
This is strange place. Very busy place, even a.m. Mostly elderly people but everyoneís getting what they want: Westvleteren brews. Selection is quite hard to rate. Quality of selection: 100%. Variety of selection: 3%. The food was OK.
Itís hard to say anything bad about this place. Sure, the food is limited and they only have three beers...got a six pack to go at ridiculously low prices, and had 2 of each beer in the hall, plus a last blonde as a night cap. Honestly, I felt I could have sat there forever. Hard as hell to get to, but hey, itís a fairytale environment. The 12 seemed to need a little more age.