Wednesday, October 2, 2019

I’m just going outside (for some beers) and may be some time

I need to make a confession - I don't actually drink that much. Well I probably do but it's not that often - when I'm at home I actually rarely drink but it's just that I'm not at home very often. I travel a lot and airports, planes and hotels are pretty boring so to pass the time I can usually be found with some sort of adult beverage at hand. But at home I'm different - unless I've got friends over I will very rarely have more than a couple of beers a week. That is until a couple of weeks from now when I'm off to pick up a very special package. It's some beer. But not just any beer - it's been described as the best in the world and it's notoriously hard to get hold of - I've never seen it in stock but a few websites claim to be able to get a couple of bottles if you're prepared to pay around $40 for a 330ml bottle!!

It's a Belgian Trappist beer called Westvleteren 10 and it's made in such a small quantity (they sell around 2,000 cases per month) that getting to purchase some is akin to winning the lottery. Until recently the sales process used to involve ringing the brewery during a 1 hour per month window and hoping to actually get through, now they've gone a little more high tech and actually take web bookings but there's still only a very short sales window. Then you can only collect it in person at the brewery in Belgium, having given them your car registration details to ensure no one can pick up more than their allotted 2 crates per sales window.

So in order to pick up my order I need to drive over an hour to catch the train that goes under the English Channel, take the car on the train then drive another hour or so through France into Belgium. I'll probably head off to a supermarket to pick up some other beers / wines from France or Belgium - this is probably the last chance to bring back unlimited booze "duty free" before the shit-show that Brexit is likely to bring.

So a whole day to pop out to pick up some beer which is effectively going to be costing about $10 a bottle once I've factored in fuel and transportation - it had better be good.


  1. Your ability to ship a bottle to the USA? Asking for a friend ...

  2. Haha. Happy to oblige but your smart, stable genius of a president is putting massive tariffs on many European imports so it’s probably economically unviable.

    Who says tariffs don’t hurt the end user?