Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Very Glaven Xmas

It’s already December 13 and many of you are doubtlessly thinking, “Well, shit! It’s pretty late in the day and I still haven’t gotten Glaven a Christmas present, a state of affairs that, if not remedied in time, might very well make the baby Jebus cry!” Well eff the baby Jebus, Reader, because, even more important, I can tell you with absolute, 100 percent certainty that this state of affairs will make Glaven cry. I guarantee it.

So if you don’t want to be responsible for making either Glaven or the Baby Jebus cry, you need to get on the stick. And I hope you won’t think it presumptuous of me – though in fact I don’t really care whether or not you do – if I suggest to you the perfect gift:

It’s this.I’ll save you the trouble of having to click through to that other site – like it’d kill you, you lazy fuck, you! – and tell you that what I’m linking to is a page about Westvleteren 12 ale. This is a very strong (10.2% ABV, very strong for a beer) ale that is brewed at the St. Sixtus Abbey in Belgium. It’s sometimes called the best beer in the world, and I think part of the reason for that is it is available only at the abbey and at the abbey-owned café/visitors’ center across the street from the abbey. Since 1945, the monks have brewed (or is it “have brewn”?) a mere 3,800 barrels of beer a year.

So the beer is extremely good; it is extremely strong; it is extremely rare and therefore hard to get. In fact, it is nearly impossible to get unless you happen to be in Vleteren, West Flanders (“stupid sexy Flanders!”), Belgium.

Until now, as those of you who are not lazy fucks already know because if you’re not a lazy fuck, you did click through to that page I linked to above, which is, as the rest of you lazy fucks would have no way of knowing, an NPR article about Westvleteren 12’s being available in the US for the first time ever. The article even links to the Westvleteren website page (whose url, cutely enough, ends with the phrase “hello-world”) that lists, by state, the US retail locations for the Westvleteren 12 “Brick”, as it’s being called – which “Brick” consists of a six-pack of the ale (in bottles, naturally) along with two special glasses. The monks, it seems, need a new roof for their abbey and are allowing this one-time retail sale of their ale for a reasonable $84.99 per “Brick”, a price I would, no shit, gladly pay for the privilege of tasting this beer – and at the risk of being repetitive, let me repeat that I am not shitting you when I say I would totally pay that price.

The monks have been brewing their beer since 1838. It went on sale at retail stores in the US for the first time just yesterday, 12/12/12. It may never be available like this again. But let’s assume, once again, that you’re a lazy fuck and did not click through to that third site I linked to above. Well how would you know – you lazy fuck, you! – that there are exactly NO – as in zero – Westvleteren 12 retail locations in NJ. Also? None in PA.

Fucking Alabama has three.

But New Jersey?


I trust I am not alone in looking skyward at this point and mournfully importuning, “What the fuck, monks?”( Because Belgium is located in the sky, right?)

So even though I would gladly (to recap: not shitting, here) pay the 85 clams for this beer, I have exactly no chance of getting any because it was never available in New Jersey and I’m sure it’s all sold out by now, anyway.

How sure am I?

This sure. (Just click through, you lazy fuck, you!)

There are already eDouches on eBay reselling bricks for upward of $300. And that’s not even the douchiest part. (It never is, on eBay.) There are bigger douches trying to sell empty crates or even just photos of the crates there, and there are foax who are actually bidding on those useless things, who are perhaps the biggest douches of them all.

Verily, douches are wild on eBay.

But the point is, the Holy Grail of beers is available. And I don’t have any. And I’m thirsty. And it’s Christmas.

My favorite part of the NPR article:

Jean Hummler owns one of the most successful lambic pubs in Brussels. The acidic lambic beers require more complex brewing processes — and, Hummler suggests, more sophisticated palates — than Trappist ales such as Westvleteren.
"It doesn't contain any special malt, with a lot of candy sugar. As professionals, we consider Westvleteren as a heavy, dark sweet beer," he says. "It's easy to be famous and popular when you're working on the mild and sweet side."
The real trick is being famous when you're a bitter, overbearing asshole like me. And my beer


  1. Ha! Talk about beer snobbery. Jean is just jealous of the monks and their life of celibate beer making.

  2. I've had every Trappist beer EXCEPT Westvleteren (though the related St. Sixtus is a popular tipple hereabouts). I can't believe the retailer who has it here is one I've never heard of (screw infinitive rules). I always look for Samichlaus at Christmastime, forgetting that it's brewed in December and sold in March and you have to hold onto it until the next winter (yeah, right) and end up buying Sierra Nevada and Anchor Celebration Ales, which are especially good this year.

    Good to have you back. I was wondering how Sandy affected your area, what you thought of the Phillies trading for the Twin's Ben Revere (he's fun to watch), whether Ian now looks even less like a child - you know, anything non-running related.

  3. Well, I tried. I called the local retailer who carried it and he said that speculators had bought up his entire supply minutes after there was a story on the local news about the beer. Coors-drinking dickheads will hawk it on e-Bay and trustfund douchebags will buy it.

  4. There was one retail outlet in northwest Ohio that had it last week and none in Michigan. I could have made the trek to Maumee (OH) in under an hour but by the time I even heard about this the store was probably sold out already.

    On another beer-related note, yesterday I sat down in a microbrewery and had a pint of beer. What made this pint different and better than all other pints is that I was drinking it IN A BREWERY I AM PART OWNER OF! THAT I CAN WALK TO! FROM MY HOUSE!

    It was a great day.

  5. You know what can make you even more angry? One of the listed retail locations is the Total Wine in cary, NC which is also where I pickup my weekly CSA share. Maybe wednesday I'll pick up a brick just for fun. you know, while i'm there anyway.

  6. The melvinator has his own blog now, because he's so awesome I want to share him with all the interwebs.

    Right now the brewery owner has no plans to distribute outside Michigan. That may come in time, but to start he's only serving in-house and in growlers.

  7. My Dad used to say that Budd was as good as any expensive beer you could buy. But then again, he didn't have $85 to waste on a single bottle!


  8. WELL?? Did your bizarre mix of shameless groveling + hostile bullying result in a very beery Christmas? Do not expect a package from Frostburgg: None was available in my neck of the woods. Oh, and I'm also a known cheapskate. I hope you got some, though!

    PS: Mr. Moose's buddy bought him some "Dirty Bastard" which he is enjoying immensely.