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Greatest Beer Ever | Prime Hops’ Ted Kenny

Greatest Beer Ever is an ongoing sequence that asks notable beer lovers a easy query: “What’s the finest beer you’ve ever had?” The imbiber of the beer particulars the brew in his or her phrases. We take pleasure in vicariously.

This installment comes from Ted Kenny, proprietor of Prime Hops Beer Store in New York Metropolis. Kenny’s retail retailer carries greater than 700 manufacturers of beer and likewise includes a tasting bar. In brief, it’s what most males envision as heaven.

I’ve had some actually distinctive beers at Prime Hops with prospects from around the globe. However I must say the the Westvleteren 12 I loved in Belgium is one of the best beer expertise I’ve ever had.

In March of 2011, my spouse Christina and I took a visit to Belgium to do analysis for the opening of Prime Hops. We wished to go to a very powerful beer-producing area on the planet. What beer is to Belgium, wine is to France.

Of all of the Belgian beers on my record, I most wished to strive Westvleteren 12. It’s arguably the toughest beer on the planet to purchase and sometimes known as the “Holy Grail” of beers. Why? The brewery is certainly one of solely six Trappist breweries in Belgium, and it is the second smallest amongst them. The brewery produces about 50,000 instances of beer per yr, which is bought solely on the gates of the abbey. Plus, it makes solely three beers: Westvleteren Blonde, Westvleteren 8, and Westvleteren 12.

What makes it much more troublesome to drink is which you could’t merely choose up a case. Each month the brewery posts a calendar on their web site that signifies which beers might be accessible on which days. Desire a beer? They instruct you to name “the beer cellphone,” which is almost all the time busy. If/once you’re patched by means of you may make a reservation to go to the brewery and at that second you will need to point out what number of instances you propose to buy and on which day. Oh, and you will need to give your license plate variety of the automobile you can be driving. No, significantly.

If for any purpose you have to change your reservation time or day there isn’t a recourse. There is no such thing as a solution to name again from the identical cellphone inside 60 days of the day you positioned your reservation—it’ll actually dangle up on you if it acknowledges your cellphone quantity.

I didn’t make a reservation as a result of I knew I might be driving a rental and wouldn’t know the license upfront. So I crossed my fingers and determined to wing it (in the meantime, not telling my spouse about any of this).

We rented a automobile in Brugge and drove to the hop-growing area to seek out the abbey. We did not have a really exact map, however I assumed, “How troublesome might or not it’s to seek out probably the most wanted of Trappist breweries?” The reply is: fairly laborious. We stopped to ask instructions a few occasions, however there was a language barrier and lots of the roads have been unmarked. Lastly, we noticed a small signal that indicated an abbey. Two extra flawed turns and we have been there. One way or the other.

We pulled into the loading space on the automobile line. I went in to beg for the chance to purchase some Westvleteren 12 to take residence, explaining I had come all the best way from New York. The particular person behind the counter was unimpressed, though very nice. All of the beer was reserved and there was no solution to promote me any instances, to not point out they weren’t promoting the 12 that day.

Practically defeated, the person behind the counter requested if I wished to purchase a three-pack, which can be found with no reservation. After some dialogue I bought eight three-packs. Then it was off to the cafe to drink.

The backdrop of lovely Belgian countryside, I tasted the beer. The Westvleteren 12 is deep mahogany with a pleasant creamy head. The nostril is complicated—darkish fruits, cherry, and caramel. Then a sip—and, wow—chocolate, fruity, and candy. As my spouse and I sat and sipped the beer, it appeared to evolve with every style. The lengthy, winding, troublesome journey was price it.

Something this particular ought to contain further effort.

THIS JUST IN: On 12/12/12 you can be about to purchase Westvletern 12 in america? How? The place?? Click on right here.

—Picture of Ted Kenny behind bar credit score to Martha Camarillo

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