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In de Vrede

Not Rated.
In de VredeIn de Vrede
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

84 Ratings
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.29%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 3
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery, Store ]

Donkerstraat 13
Westvleteren, 8640
Belgium
phone: +32 57 40 03 77

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Legally, the only retail vendor for the famous Westvleteren Trappist beers. Blonde, 8, and 12 are available, plus a selection of cheese and meats.

(Place added by: TheLongBeachBum)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Thorpe429:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.6/5  rDev +10%

This is one of the places that I most anticipated going when we went to Belgium. While I had previously had all three of the Westvleteren offerings, I was beyond excited to be able to try them at the source.

The atmosphere wasnt quite what I was expecting. The cafe has very modern decor and appears to be a bit of a tourist trap. That aspect of this place is not terribly appealing. However, that has to be balanced again the fact that this is the Westvleteren cafe and there is indeed something magical about having the abbey's beers at one of the cafe's tables.

The selection is exactly as you would expect -- you have a choice between all three Westvleteren beers. I started with the Blonde and Amy had a 12. We later each had an 8, of course taking sips from each other's choices along the way.

The service was quite good. The server was attentive and had no problem communicating with us in English.

I only had the Westy-infused ice cream and a small sandwich, so I can't comment too much on the food, but the ice cream was quite enjoyable. The menu is fairly limited.

All in all, this is a great place to visit. Aside from the cafe, there is also the small shop where you can by glassware ad up to six bottles to go, mixing and matching among whichever of the three beers are available to go at the time.

Thorpe429, Feb 27, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of WynnO
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

WynnO, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of SStein
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Typical slow European service. Sometimes has beer for sale, sometimes not. Worth sitting around and drinking a the 3 Westvleteren beers. The Trappist Ice Cream is amazing, especially paired with the Blonde.

SStein, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of aoampm
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

aoampm, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of endovelico
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

When it comes down to it, a trip to Belgium isn't complete until you've had a taste of the forever-mythical-status Westvleteren beers. Part of the charm of achieving this is that there is really only one way to do it. To head deep into West Flanders, cross the Popenringe hop fields, through the barley fields and stop at one Sint-Sixtus Abbey is really a magical journey in itself. I don't know what was more memorable to me; Actually being vis-à-vis with “the” abbey that I, as a beer lover had seen so many times mentioned in literature and conversations or that just at a stone's throw a modest beer garden was sizzling with dozens of people casually enjoying their favourite Westie.

What I hope to convey with this short preambule, is that this isn't as simple as looking at prices and offerings in the pubs carte. It's hard to not let intangibles get to you. You're about to drink Westvleteren, in the Mecca-country of the beer world, within a proverbial arms-reach of immense golden grain fields. Yes, it is the only place officially serving Westvleteren. Yes, it is also remarkably cheap (especially if you're conditioned to expect a lot more, because you've paid too much attention to black-market prices over the years) and yes the food is actually quite decent. However, where this place excels is at giving you the authentic feeling that you're about to drink the best beer in the world, in the best most adequate possible setting.

endovelico, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of RobertH50
5/5  rDev +19.6%

RobertH50, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of dwagner003
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

dwagner003, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of Paccamacca
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Paccamacca, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of spointon
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

spointon, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of byronic
3.3/5  rDev -21.1%

Definitely worth a visit! If you want to try all three beers on offer this is the place to be.

All three brews are available on the menu although they are all served from the bottle. The rest of the menu is uninspired and comparable to most cafés in Belgium. I found the atmosphere to be non-existent.

The shop that makes up part of this establishment will sell 12, 8 and blonde when available in six packs. They also have glasses available in four packs.

Compared to visiting the other Trappist abbeys/establishments this one is a very dull experience outside of the beer itself.

byronic, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of patre_tim
5/5  rDev +19.6%

patre_tim, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of briang01
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

briang01, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of Jackofallbrews
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%

We arrived at the restaurant fairly early and they were still selling some 6 packs of Westy 8, so I got in line immediately and got one before having lunch. Prices were reasonable, and these same beers would sell for three times as much elsewhere in Belgium and up to 10 times as much in America.

We were seated quickly and our group promptly ordered beers and continued to work on some lunch orders. I ended up with a tasty pate made from mystery meat and Westy beer. One of our traveling companions ended up with a texturally disturbing head cheese of some kind, but he was a trooper and ran with it. It was a beautiful sight looking at all those Westvleteren beers lined up in front of us. But how were they? Did they stand up to the hype? In a word: yes!

The Westy blonde beer was lighter, crisp and dry. There was a definite hop bitterness and flavor to the beer, but noble floral hops, not citrus hops. This was refreshing and slightly fruity. I would drink this any day and every day if I could.

The Westy 8 is a brown ale, more in line with a Belgian Dubbel. There is some carmelized sugar character and some fruity aroma and flavor from the Belgian yeasts. Very dry and easy to drink, with hints of dark fruit on the finish.

The Westy 12 is the big gun of the batch. Higher in alcohol, and darker in color, this one has a depth of character that belies its simple recipe. The combination of esters, dark sugar and alcohol warming seems to work in amazing harmony in this excellent beer. I would love to try an aged version of this, since I can only imagine that the dark fruit flavors would intensify with some time.

A great visit, but the feel of the place is a little too modern. I would have liked it more if they used some imitation medieval architecture or had it a little darker.

Jackofallbrews, May 22, 2014
Photo of Sparky44
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Sparky44, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Beer-Ed
3/5  rDev -28.2%

Beer-Ed, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of mtbdonn
4/5  rDev -4.3%

mtbdonn, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of uturn
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

uturn, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of shigg85
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%

Just visited 12/28/13. Bring a Flemish-English dictionary as there is no English menu for food items. Westvleteren 6 and 12 available in bottle pours, not from a tap. 8 is available in 6-packs for sale at 17 euro (an awesome price). Really busy at lunch time with lots of locals, and the servers are a little understaffed. You better like bread, meat, cheese, and salad -- that's about it for Flemish food (I personally loved it and thought the quality was great, but my wife had a hard time). About 90 minute drive from Brussels. Really a great place, and the only (legal) outlet for Westvleteren beers.

shigg85, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of Mplsbrew
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Mplsbrew, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of BAsbill
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

BAsbill, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev -4.3%

phingdong, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%

Cool experience to visit the monastery in between visits at St Bernardus and De Struise, talk about an unforgettable day.

The pub is obscenely modern, almost shockingly so. Pretty stupid to complain since the service was frantically attentive and all 3 Westy beers were available at about 4 euros a piece. All were fantastic too - the blonde was a nice surprise and the 12 was as delightful as imaginable.

Not really sure how to rate the selection - they had the 3 beers. Didnt expect anything more and would have been upset with less. Perfect?

I would typically be supportive of the comments arguing Rochefort 10 or St B 12 are superior beers (i love them both), but this visit cleared those doubts and proved all the counter arguments to just be flat wrong. Westy 12 wins.

It seems a little odd to plan a visit to this region just to stop here, but its a must-stop when bouncing around Flanders - Saturday would be a good day as you can hit De Struise as well.

dirtylou, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of corneliusfontaine
5/5  rDev +19.6%

This is one of my favorite places. In the middle of the Belgium farm fields next to the monastry and the brewery where they serve you the best beer in the world accompanied by fantastic. Cheeses and paté's. I visit them a few times per month and always return home with a smile on my face.

corneliusfontaine, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of RobertRedmoon
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%

Be sure to check to make sure the place is open before you make the trip. The first time I went the place was closed from December 23rd to January 15th. That was January 15th and my hotel was in Brussels.

Anyhoo, the drive to the abbey is wonderfully atmospheric. Through fields and on dirt roads, it has a distinct country mood and charm. The grounds of the abbey are fun to walk through and spend some time after a few brews at the cafe.

The cafe is much larger than I expected. It has a family atmosphere, while the average age was probably 60. It was completely full and almost everyone I met and spoke to were Belgian, and many were locals. This gave it a small town pub feel.

This was also the first chance I had to try "the other two" beers. Even though the place was super busy the servers there were quick to spot an empty glass and refill it with some of the best beers in the world. When I went in November of 2012 the Blond was €3.70, the Bruin 8 was €4.20, and the Bruin 12 was €4.70. All doable considering I bought the gift-pack six-pack for €90 at a retail location in Germany. We also had desert that was delicious and went well with the beers.

Overall, it was one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. If you're considering it, do it!

RobertRedmoon, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of NJMikeNords
3.44/5  rDev -17.7%

Went in 2011 and at the time I was just getting into beer, so the only beer I really knew or cared about was the infamous Westvleteren. The food was not good, and not really representative of the food from the area. I wasn't told this but I think it was based on the minimalist food that the monks live on. I remember getting a slab of ham and bread, with the ham being an inch thick and I couldn't make a sandwich out of it. Just weird. But lets be honest here, I did not go for the food. Im just wondering what other reviewers are thinking with their "the food was good". Maybe if your a monk.. Was able to get a twelve pack, three of each ale, 8 and 12 to go. Still have two of each.
The beer is excellent. As with my experiences with other beers and brewerys, the beer will never taste as good as it does fresh out of the tap at the brewery. Westy 12 really does deserve to be in the top ten. (I actually think Rochefort 10 is better, but thats my opinion).

Overall well worth the 2 hr drive to the middle of nowhere, for the beer mostly, and for the experience.

NJMikeNords, Jul 13, 2013
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In de Vrede in Westvleteren, Belgium
93 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.