Westvleteren 12 also took the honour last year, when it dethroned the Swedish beer Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter. Westvleteren is brewed by monks living in an abbey in the West-Flemish municipality of Vleteren. This is not far from the hop region and the city of Ieper, well-known for its war past. Westvleteren is produced by Trappist monks.
It's hard to buy the beer. You have to buy it straight from the monks, but this is only possible at certain times and in limited amounts, after making a reservation. And even then, it's possible that you can't get hold of the beer if stocks have run out. Westvleteren is not available in commercial shops, except on a few occasions. This is why most people just order it in a pub.
Westvleteren has two beers in the top-50, as the 8 degrees version also made the cut. The Belgian beers in the top-50 are:
- Westvleteren 12 (1st place)
- Rochefort 10 (7th place, coming from 5)
- Westvleteren 8 (17)
- Fou'Foune (19)
- Drie Fonteinen Framboos (23)
- St Bernardus Abt (30)
- Struise Pannepot (36)
- Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze (39)
- Struise Black Albert (44)
- Lou Pepe Pure Kriek (49)
The top-50 is dominated by American beers. Canada, Sweden and Denmark all have one beer in the top-50. The RateBeer Awards take place every year and claim to be the biggest beer competition in the world. Specialists have compiled the list from over 180,000 different beers produced by 13,000 brewers worldwide.