Adventures In Amsterdam – The Hunt for Westvleteren XII
I was on a hunt to find the famed Westvleteren XII during a stay in Amsterdam, hearing stories about the fabled beer popping up randomly in bars and pubs throughout the city. During my seven night venture to the Dutch city, I searched far and wide for this rare Belgian quadruple ale that I had read so much about. Each place I entered, I’d scan their list of bottled beers and be on the lookout for any sign of the brew, with no luck after four days.
I had planned to make a trip south to Antwerp, Belgium, where I figured I would have a good opportunity to find it. My hopes were still high, but I kept searching each little brown bar, beer-specialty shop, and places serving more of the rare beer selections. Finally, after a day of wandering around the gorgeous city, I made my way back to the apartment I was renting on Korte Leidsedwarsstraat. I dropped off my items and decided to head downstairs to the little bar next door called Café de Spuyt. I sat down, ordered a St. Bernadus, and enjoyed it at the dark wooden bar. Soon after, a couple of gentlemen came in, sat at the edge of the bar and ordered the Westvleteren XII. My ears perked up, as I saw the bartender grab a couple of the dark, brown bottles from behind the counter.
The two men sat there, thoroughly enjoying the brew, and I chimed in to ask about it. They raved about the beer, and for some reason, I remember saying, “I’ll be back to get it tomorrow,” then got up and left the bar. Immediately, as the door behind me closed, I stopped and thought to myself, “why wait?” I turned around, and re-entered the bar. One of the men at the bar said, “We knew you would be back. Carpe diem.”
I sat back into my seat, ordered the Westvleteren XII, poured it gently into a beautiful chalice glass, and had my first sip of one of the most sought after beers on the planet. I had found it. I was drinking it. And I loved it! Mission accomplished.