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Trappist monks angry at Dutch supermarket's Westvleteren promo
The monks who brew Belgium's award-winning - and scarce - Westvleteren beer are furious after a Dutch supermarket put their beers on general public sale for almost three times the original price.
The brewers at Sint-Sixtus abbey in West Flanders have complained to the Jan Linders group that the practice completely goes against their principles of only selling limited batches to individuals.
The supermarket announced last week that 7,200 bottles of Westvletern 12 - which Ratebeer has frequently voted the best beer in the world - and Westvleteren 8 were on sale at €9.95 per bottle and limited to two bottles per customer.
The monks sell their beer direct to the consumer for €3.75 a bottle. Customers must phone the abbey to join the waiting list and fetch the crate themselves on a given day.
An abbey spokesman told VRT: "We heard about the supermarket promotion in the media and we're extremely shocked. It goes against the values of our community."
Only once have the brewers allowed the mass sale of their beers - in 2011 when Colruyt was authorised to sell 93,000 bottles to raise funds for the abbey's renovation.
Jan Linders would not say how it got hold of 300 crates of the sought-after beers. But it said in a statement: "We would like to emphasise that the sale - in collaboration with purchasing partners - is organised with the best intentions, with respect for all Trappist beers and without any profit."