Monks from the St Sixtus abbey in Westvletern in Belgium are to start selling their beer through independent beer sellers in the Netherlands in an effort to stop profiteering by Dutch visitors.
Up to now, the beer has only been sold at the abbey itself, but some people have been selling it on at huge mark-ups, prompting the monks to take action.
“This profiteering is against the community’s own values,” the abbey said in a statement. “The brothers want as many people as possible to enjoy their Trappist beers for a normal, fair price.”
At the monastery itself, a 24-bottle crate of the most expensive beer costs €48.80 plus a deposit of €15. But the beer is on sale via Dutch beer websites for around €10 a bottle – five times the normal price.
The abbey is fully dependent on the proceeds of the sale of three types of Trappist beer, which is produced in limited quantities of some 7,500 hectolitres. With the new deal, some 790 hectolitres, or 240,000 bottles, will be exported to the Netherlands.
The sale to Dutch beer shops is a trial which will run for at least a year and the first bottles of Blond, 8 and 12 will go on sale on June 18. Belgian fans will still be able to reserve the beer online.
The Sint Sixtus beer, which has been brewed since 1839, has a cult status among beer lovers. Visitors to the abbey are limited to three crates at a time.
The beer sold in Dutch shops will not be in the distinctive wooden crates but repacked into cardboard boxes, Belgian website VRT reported.
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