A friend of mine started posting on facebook while he was in line at The Trappist restaurant in Oakland, waiting for several hours to taste the “World’s Best Beer.” This is his account as he waited (and drank) in line. Guest blogger, Ryan Harms.
4:50 p.m. – Westvleteren is a quadrupel style beer produced by a remote abbey in Belgium. It is considered by many beer aficionados to be the finest beer in the world.
It is generally only available in Belgium directly from the abbey and only in small quantities. However, they are trying to raise money for repairs to the abbey and have distributed ~2500 six pack gift packs to the US, on sale today for $85 each.
They will assuredly sell out more or less immediately. Kind of a once in a lifetime event for those of us too broke to travel to Belgium.
5:25 p.m. - Update: the line has been cut off as all twenty-nine gift packs have been accounted for. T-minus two hours forty one minutes to go. Mood of the crowd (those of us with a guaranteed purchase, at least): jovial, slightly giddy, expectant. Currently quaffing an Allegash White Ale, a fine traditional wit-style beer.
6:10 p.m. - Update: two hours to go. I just spoke to Vince and Will, the two gentlemen at the very start of the line. They arrived at about 2PM.
“This is pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Vince. “I’ve had the Westvleteren VIII, and it was definitely the best beer I’ve ever had. But it takes an Act of God to get. I’ve tried to travel to Belgium to buy some of this motherfucking beer, but they didn’t have it when I went. So I’m definitely stoked.”
“I was paranoid about missing out,” Will said.
Good work, gentlemen. See you at the finish line!
6:45 p.m. – Update: Bit of a tough stretch. Fairly drunk on expensive, delicious Belgium beer, but still quite a ways to go.
Speaking to Maureen, a friendly woman directly behind me in line: Maureen, how did you end up here?
“It seemed like a thing to do, you know. I wasn’t able to find any still on sale in San Francisco.”
Will you drink yours immediately, Maureen?
“Nah, I’ll probably save it for the holidays when my boyfriend gets back from traveling on business. And for when I need to bribe people to help me move from Pacifica to San Mateo at end of January.”
Well considered, Maureen. Best of luck to you in your strategic drunkenness.
7:35 p.m. – Update: Thirty minutes to go. Down to the nitty gritty. Drunk. Kind of losing my mind. Tapping away the minutes like a prisoner. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Only time will tell. Next update will, God willing, be post-beer. Pray for me.
8:15 p.m. – Update: The promised land. Regretfully, I will not be tasting it immediately. But it is so beautiful. I look forward to sipping it gently, at opportune moments. Enjoy, and thank you for all following my saga.