Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Style Abbey Quadrupel / Abt
Brewed by Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus
Westvleteren 12 (yellow cap) (formerly Abt), a 10.2% ABV, introduced in 1940.
The Trappist monks at The Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren, Belgium, aren't in the business of brewing beer for the riches or glory — they brew only enough to support themselves and their abbey.
But fame found them anyway in the mid-2000s, when the beer-information website RateBeer.com named their dark, quadrupel-style 12 the best beer in the world.
'They Sell to Live'
Westvleteren 12 is again on RateBeer's 2015 list of the best beers in the world, which is no surprise after all these years, though the monks are still a little overwhelmed by the publicity. Of all the breweries in the world, and of all the beers made by all the breweries in the world, imagine being rated the best. It is an enormous title that most brewers can only dream about. Still, the monks are humble. They didn't set out to make the best beer in the world, but they do.
The current production is 475 kilolitres (60,000 cases) per year, and has remained the same since 1946.
Despite the popularity, the monks of St Sixtus have continued to decline almost all interview and visit requests, and have not enjoyed all of the attention they have received. Non-monastic visitors to the abbey are usually turned away, instead being directed to the visitor's centre opposite where there is information about the abbey and brewery. They have stated their desire to only produce as much beer as needed to finance the community.