Last night, a book club meeting turned crazy. The email we all received before the meeting from our friend Kevin said, “I WILL BE BRINGING A ONCE IN A LIFETIME TREAT TO SHARE.”
We were all bringing various types of dip to snack on, so I thought maybe we would be treated to an artichoke dip in a bread bowl or something. But no. Oh, no. It was much more special, and yes, it was a once-in-a-lifetime treat.
Once everyone had arrived, he pulled out a suitcase and began a long speech about Belgian monks who make beer. Several of us had read a news article about Belgian beer-brewing monks who were selling a special batch of beer to fund renovations on the monastery, and we knew where this was going. After much fanfare, out came the treat:
It’s Westvleteren, which I had not heard of before yesterday, although I am no stranger to the monks-brewing-libations-for-funds concept, having lived in Grenoble very close to the Chartreuse monastery. But this was definitely special because it has never been available anywhere but at the actual monastery in Belgium. And apparently it went on sale yesterday and sold out within hours. New roof for the monastery: check!
So, we opened a few of the bottles and tasted the beer. It was dark amber and had a lot of herbal/spicy flavor, which I like. It wasn’t too strong. It was a tiny bit sweet, but not fruity. It made me remember all the stories I’d heard at the Chartreuse tasting room about the many herbs and spices used in the secret recipe for Chartreuse, and so I imagine that this is a very old recipe with a similar history, although truthfully I haven’t read anything about this beer. It was only lightly carbonated, which I like. Nonetheless I wasn’t a huge fan of the taste. But it was an awesome experience! Thanks, Kyevvin!
P.S. regarding the bringing of the beer in a suitcase: Haha, you can totally see Kevin’s bath pouf in the suitcase behind him.