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Californians coming to Belgium. Couple questions, IP trade?

Discussion in 'Benelux' started by riko, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. riko

    riko Savant (250) California Jan 18, 2008

    Some other BAs and I are coming to Belgium in May from our hometown of San Diego. We will be staying in Brussels and plan to take day trips to Bruges and Antwerp, and also hope to visit Westvleteren, though we know it will be tricky because we don't plan to rent a car.

    Two questions:

    1 - Any tips on where to buy 12-bottle shippers in Brussels? We would check them as luggage on the return flight.

    2 - Any advice on getting to Westvleteren without a car? We aren't looking to buy cases of the beer, just to visit the place, eat and drink at the cafe and maybe buy six-packs if they're available. I've seen the Thirsty Pilgrim blog about taking the train to Poperinge and then taking the Belbus from there, but the blog is from 2009 and I don't know if that option still works or if a better one has come along.

    I'm also looking to set up an in-person trade if anyone's interested. I can bring any of the following:

    Bruery beers - Almost anything they've released, including Chocolate Rain, Grey Monday, Black Tuesday, White Chocolate, Gunga Galunga, Barrel-Aged Coton, Three French Hens, Grand Funk AleRoad, Melange 1, Melange 3, Oude Tart, Oui Oui, Sour in the Rye, etc.

    AleSmith - BA Speedway, Kopi Speedway, BA Kopi Speedway, BA Wee Heavy, BA Numbskull

    Firestone Walker - batch 1 or 2 Parabola, batch 1 Abacus, 15th anniversary

    Eclipse - I have several 2011 varieties I could bring.

    Lost Abbey - Veritas 009

    Russian River - older Consecration, Temptation, Sanctification or Supplication.

    Fresh IPAs - I can bring fresh bottles of Pliny the Elder, Alpine IPAs (Nelson, Duet, Pure Hoppiness, depending on availability), Sculpin (bottle or can), or just about any other west coast IPA.

    My top want is Blabaer and my #2 is Fou Foune. I'd be happy to take home a box full of those two. Beyond those, I'd be interested in Blauw, Cantillon one-offs, vintage Cantillon bottles, Framboos, other rare lambics. If anyone's interested in trading, just send me a BM.

    We'll be there 8 May to 17 May. We also plan to bring some bottles to open up at bars/breweries, so if you want to meet up for a beer, let me know.
  2. Dennoman

    Dennoman Savant (485) Belgium Aug 20, 2011

    1 - No, we don't do styrofoam shippers, pretty much.
    2 - That option still works.
    - Blabaer is a Danish release, not a Belgian one.
    - Other vintages: join the club. These threads are starting to get on my nerves.

    Am I too cynical?
    Brabander likes this.
  3. riko

    riko Savant (250) California Jan 18, 2008

    Thanks for the info, Dennoman. I realize Blabaer is a Danish release but I figured there would be more people in Belgium who travel or trade for bottles than people in San Diego. Apologies if I've insulted your sensibilities. Hopefully others will be interested in trading.
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  4. Dennoman

    Dennoman Savant (485) Belgium Aug 20, 2011

    There are probably more bottles of Blabaer circulating stateside than here actually. Belgians mostly don't bother with big foreign releases, you'll find.
  5. Actually, you're starting to sound like an American. :)

    To the OP:

    You'll find that most Belgians/Beneluxians aren't big fans of American sours (with some justification, I might add). The big stouts and IPAs are received with much more rabid enthusiasm.

    As for the shippers, last year I brought a pair of 12 pak styros with me and checked them. One box was free and the other cost $70 - lots less than would it would have run me to send the box from Belgium or the Netherlands or vice versa.

    Regarding visiting the St. Sixtus Abbey for Westy, unless there's some reason you can't rent a car, I strongly suggest doing that. The de Struise and de Dolle breweries (check for opening times) are pretty close to St. Sixtus by car, not so much by bike. Otherwise, check out posts by Brabender, he has described the process of getting from Poperingen to the Abbey in detail. If you can't find those posts, BM him. Thijs seems to be a man of infinite patience, although I haven't confirmed this with his wife.

    Regarding hunting walez, post for international trades in the ISO section. Also, try doing a search using key words like 'international trade' or 'overseas trade' - that might shake down a few regular local traders for you. Similar to the US, it's harder to find these beers long after they're released (it's been about 8 months for FF and unfortunately, BB is often released in late May/June).
    tacosandbeer and Brabander like this.
  6. riko

    riko Savant (250) California Jan 18, 2008

    Thanks for the info. I knew the Blabaer was a longshot but didn't think Fou Foune would be all that tough to trade for. Oh well...
  7. It might not be. My message wasn't fuhgettaboutit, just lower your expectations. More beneluxians you contact about trading, better your chances of landing something good. As for FF, it isn't even that hard to trade for in the states.
  8. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Savant (410) California Apr 5, 2006

  9. beerpirates

    beerpirates Savant (425) Belgium May 4, 2010


    You can find plenty of big cardboard boxes at the supermarkets , it's 1 big styro shipper , i always push some bubblewrap in each hole , then put the bottle in and bubblewrap on top of the bottles , and then you can finish the box with some hard cardboard on top or something else , plenty of possibility's ,
    But the styro shipper itself is realy good !
  10. If your bringing beer to trade, why don't you pack it in a 12 bottle styro shipper and just reuse it when your come home. Just sayin'

    My friends in that part of the world really like super fresh IPA's (stuff like Heady Topper) top notch barrel aged stouts (Abyss, BCBS, Eclipse variants, BT) so I would think you might get some interest if you included some of those items in your trade offers.
  11. riko

    riko Savant (250) California Jan 18, 2008

    We're debating bringing styro shippers with us. Costs an extra $50 each way to check them. Probably not bringing as many bottles there as we plan to bring home.

    As for offering fresh IPAs and top-notch BA stouts, read my original post ;)
  12. I dont understand those Americans with these kind of propositions. You are asking for expensive and rare sours and trying to trade that for American shelf beers. I suggest you aim a little lower and go for the more accessible sours, otherwise you'll be hugely dissappointed.
  13. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Savant (435) Illinois Jul 19, 2012

    veritas 009, BA kopi, and grey monday are not shelf beers by any definition of the term
    stawn and mrkrispy like this.
  14. True, but even a grey monday isn't gonna pull a Framboos or a Blauw don't you agree?

    P.S. Maybe I'm a little biased since I think the bruery beers are just a hot, unbalanced mess. But if someone is willing to trade his Blauw / one-off Cantillon for that, hey, more power to him.
  15. riko

    riko Savant (250) California Jan 18, 2008

    Maybe you're not very familiar with American beers, but the majority of what I'm offering are hardly "shelf beers." I also didn't realize Fou' Foune was so "expensive and rare," as I was under the impression that the brewery sold it for 9 euro with a six-bottle limit, with it being available for a couple of weeks or more before selling out. That would not count as expensive, or very rare, in the U.S.
  16. There are exceptions on the list, the FF is being sold out atm at the brewery (correct me if I'm wrong). But each to their own, I wish you the best of luck tracking down the Blauw, Framboos, BB. Please give us an update if you succeeded!

    Cheers.
  17. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    I can't blame them, if I could get 3F geuze off the shelf whenever I wanted for $5 I probably wouldn't drink anything else.
    seancake likes this.
  18. riko

    riko Savant (250) California Jan 18, 2008

    Post-trip postscript:

    While this thread unfortunately and unintentionally stirred up some Euro butthurt and may look like a bit of fail to the casual reader, I'm sure glad I posted it.

    I got multiple BMs with offers for trades, and one great BA even offered to drive us to Westvleteren, St. Bernardus and De Struise, and to some pubs in Bruges. We took him up on his generous offer and had a wonderful experience and built new friendships that wouldn't exist if not for this thread.

    I flew home with a couple bottles of Fou' Foune and a 2004 Cuvee de Tomme that I'm planning to trade for a Blabaer, so it looks like I'll have my top two wants.

    In short, it was definitely worth taking a few potshots in the thread for the treats that came through BMs.
  19. oregonskibum

    oregonskibum Savant (405) Oregon Mar 14, 2009

    50N4E is currently a shelf beer, but some Europeans think it should demand a king's ransom. So the over valuation flows both ways.
  20. beerpirates

    beerpirates Savant (425) Belgium May 4, 2010

    That is not realy correct ,

    A " shelf beer " in my eyes is a beer that is for sale in different shops around most parts in Belgium
    50N 4 E is NOT for sale outside the brewery , is made in a very limited quantity ( 3000 bottles and about 2000 are for sale/drink )
    There is a limit of 3 a person and i've you buy 1 50N then you first have to buy 3 other bottles and then you can buy 1 50N
    So for 3 bottles 50N you have to buy 9 others

    Personaly i don't think that this is a shelf beer
  21. AndrewSmith

    AndrewSmith Savant (340) California Jan 27, 2013

    the euros on this site are kinda douches. just sayin..
  22. You are so right. Douches they are.
    beerdrifter and claaark13 like this.
  23. Douches they are. Especially Thijs.
    deeblo likes this.
  24. Haters Gonna hate. This goes out to both sides of the Atlantic.
    tinypyramids likes this.
  25. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Yeah, all the Europeans I met were douches who invited me to their table, bought me beers, gave me beer to take home, etc. Such douches!
    beerdrifter, Bierman9, deeblo and 2 others like this.
  26. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Savant (360) Illinois Nov 27, 2010

    AndrewSmith.....twenty twelvin' it into the new year!
  27. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Savant (410) California Apr 5, 2006

    I find BA douchbaggery to be evenly distributed across the globe, butt-hurt is a worldwide phenomenon.
    ridglens, tacosandbeer and Avalon68 like this.
  28. AndrewSmith

    AndrewSmith Savant (340) California Jan 27, 2013

    Okay I retract my previous statement, was said in haste, and a couple beers deep.

    I know there are a lot of top notch European BA members.

    The OP was genuinely attempting to get some feedback and was met with some douchey comments. I thought the OP was offering up some very nice beers, not all shelf beers as they were alluded to.

    Glad you had a good time in Belgium.

    Cheers!

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