So was all the drama over getting the rare Westveletern 12, the best beer in the world, worth it? In my opinion YES.
Here’s are my thoughts on the Westy Saga:
- Is this the best beer I’ve ever tasted in my life – No. I actually had this at my Prud’homme beer sommelier dinner at Beer Bistro. A great beer, but not the best beer I’ve ever had in my life (actually that’s a difficult question to answer)
- Could the LCBO have done a better job at selling this? YES. At this day and age I don’t think it’s necessary to make people stand outside in cold for hours. Surely there’s a better way of doing this. And as some people have suggested perhaps an online lottery system. However, once all the waiting and you’re finally in the store, the LCBO was very organized and efficient.
- Why I did it? As some of you might know I hate line ups! If there is a long line up at the grocery store I forgo the groceries or go somewhere else, this is how short my attention span is for lines. However, the reason why I waiting in line 2 almost 2 hours was for a number of reasons:
1. My schedule is flexible and didn’t have to take time off work/drive kids to school etc.
2. Living in Toronto I could easily get to the handful of LCBOs in town, and even considered driving out of town if necessary.
3. Why wouldn’t I at least try, given the flexibility I have? I don’t plan on going to Belgium anytime soon, so a local LCBO lineup is more feasible than going to a Belgian Monastery.
4. It comes with 2 glasses – and I love my beer glasses!
5. Now that I have it I can share with friends, family and fellow beer nerds who were unable to get it. And of course I’ll cellar some for a few years.
6. The experience was fun! While waiting in line ‘strangers’ would just come up to you and ask you if they can get you a coffee – Seriously, beer people are awesome. One person made cookies and was handing them out! It was also great to talk to other beer people about beer! And the energy and excitement of the crowd was amazing!!
- What I didn’t like – some people in line we’re talking about how this was their 2nd 6 pack and they were going to try for a 3rd tomorrow (you’re limited to 1 pack per person), then sell it to make some money. I don’t think this is fair as you’re taking the opportunity away for someone (like myself) who just want 1 for themselves. Again some kind of online, lottery, tracking system would prevent/minimize this from happening.
- Another thing to note is the price. I heard several people commenting on how expensive this was at $76. Really? 2 glasses = $30, which means each bottle is $7.67 each….price isn’t something people should complain about. How much would 3 bottles of good rare wine (equivalent to about 6 beer bottles) sell for that is generally not available outside the country of origin? Surely more than $15/bottle.
So that’s my take on it all. Just really happy I can share 4 bottles with others and give other people the opportunity to try the beer. And in the end I get 2 beautiful glasses and cellar a couple for me to enjoy at a future celebratory moment.