Belgium is famous for a number of things; chocolate, fries, mussels, waffles and also beers. I am a huge fan of the first four, but since I do not drink, I have not spent too much time agonizing about what beer goes with what cheese and what occasion. I don’t eat cheese either, by the way.

That is, until now. Now, a considerable portion of my free time is spent, basically obsessing, over this one beer. If you happen to be a beer connoisseur, you surely have heard of it. I am talking about the near-mythical Westvleteren 12.

You are probably wondering why I would obsess over beer when I do not even drink? But I love masterpieces, I love quality, I love exclusivity (also the reason to why I work at Voxbone). This beer supposedly embodies all of that. And just because I do not drink doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have some of these beers! I am pretty sure these beers could turn me.

So I set out to get me a few VIP-beers. I woke up early, followed the rules and dialed the beer-line. From 8:30-12:00 I had my phone auto-dial the beer-line, and at the end of it, after 572 calls I still did not get through. So, no beer for me this time. Imagine my pain! It was horrible, it felt like I had been oh-so-nice all year and then Santa didn’t come because he had mixed me up with that nasty, grotty kid next doors.

But you know I don’t take defeat so easily, right? So I did some research. Apparently, Westvleteren monks outsourced their beer-production for about 30 years to another brewery about 30km away in Watou, called St. Bernardus. And apparently the Watou-monks kept the recipe..! Naughty, naughty, but I like.

So I could not wait a moment longer, I ran off during the remainder of my lunch-break to the nearest grocery-store and frantically made my way to the beer-isle. There, I whipped out my list of beers to try (compiled from the beer-awards on various sites). I grabbed a few bottles like there was no tomorrow and went back to the office, where I recruited my team of VoxTasters/VoxFancyDrunks.

Beertasting 2

Beertasting

I sent out a calendar-invite for the end of the work-day and we set out to taste. The panel tasted the beers I had managed to get from the little grocery-store next to our office and we started rating them, but since we could not find all the beers we wanted to taste, we agreed to hold a second edition, and a third.

Let me share with you the preliminary results from the first and second tasting already now:

Beer Name Category Average Rating (out of 100)
St. Bernardus Abt 8 Abbaye 75
Rochefort 10 Trappist 87
Affligem Blond Blond 83
Val-Dieu Blond Blond 70
St. Bernardus Abt 12 Abbaye 90
Westvleteren Blond Blond 65
Bush de Noël Christmas 57
Orval Abbaye 70
Chimay Bleu Trappist 82
Westvleteren 8 Trappist 80
Westvleteren 12 Trappist 90

Thank you to my dear, dear VoxTasters, and thank you to Voxbone for enabling me to indulge in my obsessions like this. I feel much better now knowing that St. Bernardus taste almost exactly the same as Westvleteren and that I can find them in my local grocery-store.

Beercaps

Do you know any amazing beers we should try for our third edition? Please send in your suggestions!

Isabelle

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