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Westvleteren 12

Tribune photo

At the head of the early morning line Friday wanting the rare Belgian beer Westvleteren 12 were Laura Scott and Paul Lourenio.

Early morning brew crew has expensive tastes

It’s like the adult version of the Tickle-Me Elmo craze of the ’90s or the Cabbage Patch Kid craze of the ’80s – a rare beer that has seen people lining up at various LCBOs over the past week for the chance to get their hands on one very expensive six pack.
It’s called Westvleteren 12. It’s a Belgian beer brewed by monks that is notoriously hard to come by, and on Friday the lineup to get some formed in Guelph.
Paul Lourenio was first in line. He was out at 3:30 a.m.
“I’ve tried the others. It’s the rarest of the Trappist beers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.
The beer, one of several brewed at the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus, is considered by some to be the best in the world. It is normally available only from the abbey, but this year the LCBO managed to score about 1,400 six packs. Most of those went to stores in Toronto, but a few went to other cities. They retail for $76.85.
Guelph’s Stone Road and Scottsdale Drive store got 36, and by 9 a.m. more than 50 people were lined up waiting for the store to open in hopes of getting their hands on one.
As the lined-up beer connoisseurs noted, the liquid gold is like wine – you look at it, you smell it, you taste it – but you don’t drink it out of the bottle.
Two glasses are included with the beer, which is being marketed as a gift-pack.
Lourenio won’t be giving his away. He plans to save and savour his buy and drink one bottle a year for the next six years on New Year’s Eve.
While with some beers, holding onto it for years would be considered blasphemy to beer drinkers, according to the abbey’s website, Trappist beer will keep for years. “Give the beer time and it will continue to ripen,” it says.
It also recommends not refrigerating the brew.
Second in line was Laura Scott, who was doing some Christmas shopping. She started her wait for the LCBO’s 10.m. opening at 4 a.m.
Her purchase is a Christmas present for her husband, Jason. “What you do for love,” she said laughing, “and I don’t even drink. It had better be worth it.”

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