Europe How to order from the Westvleteren (St Sixtus) phone number

Discussion in 'Europe' started by DapperGrowler, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. DapperGrowler

    DapperGrowler Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2012 District of Columbia


    My wife and I are leaving for Belgium for two weeks starting on the 31st of August. We are planning to visit a few breweries while we are in the country. One that we do not want to miss is the makers of Westvleteren. I understand that the 12 is hard to get (a understatement at the least). But we are going to try, get whatever we can, and/or just take in the experience and the adventure of it all.

    I consider myself a capable individual, but I am having a relatively difficult time comprehending the process of ordering a crate of Blonde, 8 or 12. I dont find their website helpful at all, it seems quite cryptic. Also there is no contact info such as a email account.

    So as I understand it: 1)monitor their website; they have two columns on the website. One says "Reserve" by phone and the second is "Pick Up" after reservation. Do I wait to call during the time listed? If I am able to place an order for lets say, blonde, I then need to wait for the next available date in the "PICK UP" column of blonde to pick it up? On the current website (hyperlink above) it says reserve blonde between 8:30 am and Noon on 08-07-2013 and 08-08-2013. Then would I pick it up during the next available blonde pick up, which is 8/12-8-14 between 1:30 and 4:30?

    Lastly, Their website says to provide your licence plate number. If we are renting a car and dont know this information, is that acceptable?

    Thanks for any help

  2. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    Hey Nick! You are almost right. The calling thing is correct, you can call during those time frames. When you get trough the monk will tell you the date for the pickup or you can ask him ifvthere is still a possibility on a date which would suit you. If you tell him that you will come with a rental car he will write down yor name. Simply said, you can only pick up the blond when that is for sale on the site. Check this site searching it for 'westvleteren' and you will a tread from me how you can actually go inside the abbey as well.

    Good luck calling, do not forget to use phones with the cellinfo visible!

  3. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    Could not find the info i posted some time ago so here it is again!:::::::::

    Ordering the beer is one of the most difficult things to do. If you have made the appointment the rest is easy!

    First check if they are open and when you can try to order the beer:

    You will need a telephone with the number recognition ON. If the monks can not see your number they will not answer the call...

    Sometimes it takes several hours to get trough. Be patient and keep trying.
    Most of the time you will get a Belgian lady from the phonecompany who tells you lines are busy

    Then, with luck, you are trough! The phone can ring several times, up to a minute, before they pick up the phone. The monk (or a civilian) will ask you for your licenceplates.
    If you don't have this info because you are coming with a rentalcar you can tell him that. Then he will ask for your name. After that he will give you the date when you can pick up the beer.
    This will be one of the dates you see on the site.

    By car: Going with a car i recomment a car with satnav....
    By train: From Brussels the best abbey to visit with public transportation is the abbey of Saint Sixtus in Westvleteren. You can take the train from Brussels to Poperinge.
    This is the timetable for the trains:
    By train/bike: The best thing you can do is rent a bike near the trainstation of the city Poperinge. There are busconnection but they are very irregular.

    This is a bike rental: (they are closed on sundays!!)

    This is another rental possibility:

    You can ask for a route map and then you can bike very easily to the abbey. Cafe in de Vrede is nomally 6 days a week open but the best thing is always to check the site:

    You can actually go inside the abbey and see the monks in pray in the chapel. You don't have to pray with them but it is very special to see how this goes. You can walk trough the abbey to the chapel and after that you can walk back.

    These are the times they pray:

    The best time to go there is the 'sext' at 12.15 and the 'noon' at 14.15 hours.

    What you must do is go to the entrance about ten minutes before the prayers start. This is the entrance:

    Just ring the bell there and tell the monk who opens the door you want to go to the prayers. They will ask you to put out all cellphones. It is not allowed to make film or photo's.

    It is not possible to visit the brewery but here are the pictures i made when i was invited there:

    From october 2012 on you can buy sixpacks of Westvleteren 12 at the abby itself. At the beerpickuppoint you can buy two sixpacks of the 12 for 20 euro each or two sixpacks with two small chalices for 24,50 euro each.

    If you have enough time i would suggest to visit the Struise Brouwers in Oostvleteren. This is a 20 minutes bikeride from the abbey to their headquarters. They are mostly open on the saturdays from 14.00 till 18.00 hours.

    Here are the pictures i made from my visits to them:

    Good luck if you want to go.

    mush, simont1, a16ert and 1 other person like this.
  4. DapperGrowler

    DapperGrowler Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2012 District of Columbia

    Thank you very much! either way, it seems like it will be quite an experience!
  5. Erzengel

    Erzengel Aspirant (294) Sep 8, 2008 Germany
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    It is an experience, but it is worth it! And the easiest is using (at least) two (cell-)phones parallel :slight_smile:
    --> Good luck!!
  6. evanrogers

    evanrogers Initiate (131) Jan 31, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    This is very helpful. Cheers.
  7. nsummy

    nsummy Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2014

    Sorry to bring up an old thread but I didn't want to start a new one as it seems like there are hundreds of threads with questions all over the internet. Unfortunately most of them are 4+ years old. I seem to understand the process but I still have one question: How far in advance can I reserve? I'm going to Paris the last weekend of March and staying for a week. I'd like to get this beer but after reading how hard it is I'd like to try reserving my spot ASAP.

    Can you only reserve for the next week? Thats what the website looks like. Just wondering if I can call in and reserve a few weeks out. Thanks!
  8. Brabander

    Brabander Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    You only can reserve for the next week and when you are one of the first who gets trough you can ask the monk on the phone if you can choose one of the dates from the site.

    Do not forget to phone during the hours they announced on the site and that you use one or more phones with the cell info visible!!!
    BJSmit likes this.
  9. Stevenwings

    Stevenwings Initiate (85) Jan 15, 2014 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Or find a guy from Belgium:wink: that can do a call for you, buy him a drink or bring some beers with you :sunglasses: and do a transfer of the beer :grinning:
    BJSmit likes this.
  10. JasonB23

    JasonB23 Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2014

    Do people ever split orders? I'll be there around July 9th or 10th. I can't take 2 cases. I don't even know if I will be able to squeeze 1 into my luggage, wrapped in all my clothes. So, I'd gladly split an order with someone.

  11. Stevenwings

    Stevenwings Initiate (85) Jan 15, 2014 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Hmm split a crate of westvleteren ... who is going to call :slight_smile: i want it all :flushed: i am Always open for some trades... or take the chance to visit the shop and hope they sell some six packs....
  12. JasonB23

    JasonB23 Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2014

    I'm going to try and call, but I'm in the US. I'll have an unused license plate number, for sure. Just hoping to get all I can bring home, which definitely is NOT 2 crates.

  13. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (352) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    There's also bus service; when we stayed at St Bernardus' excellent bed and breakfast Jackie arranged for bus pickup in front of the brewery which took us to St. Sixtus (actually, just In de Vrede; people were asking the monastery grounds but we were there to drink beer.) Once picked up, make arrangements with the driver to pick you up in a couple hours or whatever, which he did, right on time. You don't pick the time, it's like, do you want a 5:30 pickup or a 7:30 pickup?

    It looks like a small airport-to-rental-car shuttle and the service is, based on the above, sort of halfway between a taxi and a bus, in that you have to call them, but then they go on a prescribed route, vs the direct line between two places. This was on a Sunday; I think Jackie might have said the service is regular and does not require a call during the week.

    We had a car but wanted to enjoy too many beers at in de Vrede to drive under what the guide books seem to indicate is a very strict DUI law. One beer might even be too much, was our opinion, and we wanted more like 4.

    This may be more useful for visiting the cafe vs picking up beer at the monastery, I haven't done that.
  14. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Initiate (188) Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Let's say you can have 2-3 westvleteren blondes :slight_smile: . but yeah it's better to hire a driver or rent a bike when you plan to drink at in de Vrede or at De Struise.
  15. Stevenwings

    Stevenwings Initiate (85) Jan 15, 2014 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    or contact me for transport
  16. Odysseus

    Odysseus Initiate (0) Mar 8, 2009 Rhode Island

    My Wife are going to the Abby and hope to get cases of Westvletern 12. However it is only feasible if we can ship it back to the US. I emailed de Vrede but got no reply. Does anyone know of a shipping agent in Westvletern?
  17. Stevenwings

    Stevenwings Initiate (85) Jan 15, 2014 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Hope your not going the coming weeks because it's closed. Only possible picking up crates by reservations...
  18. Stevenwings

    Stevenwings Initiate (85) Jan 15, 2014 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Shipping next week to the States a box of it... Just use a post office
  19. jesus_man

    jesus_man Initiate (131) May 8, 2015 Illinois

    Renovations? I am hoping to make my 4th trip in Nov., but I wanted to go when In De Vrede is open to maximize the trip.
  20. BenBreeg

    BenBreeg Champion (809) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Holidays... It will be open again from 3 October on. You should be fine in November.
  21. jesus_man

    jesus_man Initiate (131) May 8, 2015 Illinois

    Good news! Thanks!!
  22. SombreroWarrior

    SombreroWarrior Initiate (127) Sep 1, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I realize this thread is old, but I have a quick question, if anyone can answer:

    I am going to be visiting Germany for 2 weeks this September and I plan to make a few trips to nearby countries. I would like to make a trip to Westvleteren to try to get some beer, but I do not speak Dutch or French. Is it possible to call and schedule an appointment in English? Or would it be best to pay a bilingual local who can schedule an appointment for me? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you! Cheers!
  23. jesus_man

    jesus_man Initiate (131) May 8, 2015 Illinois

    They speak English.
  24. Obe25

    Obe25 Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2016 United Kingdom (England)

    Hello, does anyone know the prices for westvleteren beer if bought direct from the monastery?
  25. jesus_man

    jesus_man Initiate (131) May 8, 2015 Illinois

    6'er at the restaurant is 22 EUR, and a case (if you have an appointment) is 54 I believe. If I'm off it's only by a couple EUR.
  26. DavidW

    DavidW Initiate (20) Aug 6, 2015 Belgium

    Blond 32€
    8 37€
    12 42€

    + 12€ for the crate
  27. Obe25

    Obe25 Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2016 United Kingdom (England)

    DavidW - is that for a crate of 24 bottles then?
  28. jesus_man

    jesus_man Initiate (131) May 8, 2015 Illinois

    Case = 24 btls
  29. DavidW

    DavidW Initiate (20) Aug 6, 2015 Belgium

    Crate of 24 bottles indeed.
  30. Obe25

    Obe25 Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2016 United Kingdom (England)

    Ah brilliant definately trumps the 300 euros I've seen some websites selling it.
    Cheers both for the help, i'm trying to plan a trip to visit the WW1 sites around Ypres and noticed the st. Sixtus monastery is very close by. hopefully they will have some when I come to pre-book the beer.
  31. jesus_man

    jesus_man Initiate (131) May 8, 2015 Illinois

    Just call as soon as the lines open up and re-dial quickly. Good luck!

    An actually 300EUR isn't a bad price considering how much I've seen it for other places.
  32. bdstuart

    bdstuart Initiate (114) Jan 13, 2017 Germany

    They key is to have multiple phones (iPhones or similar) going at once, constant redial, patience and you got to want it…have to be willing to redial non-stop on multiple phones for up to a couple of hours
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