Westvleteren 12 is a Belgian Trappist Ale that has consistently been voted the single best tasting beer in the world. All major beer rating sites agree that this is the pinnacle of beers, including: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer and Beer Pal. That’s a little over 2,300 beer experts saying that this is the best beer, anywhere. Located in the western corner of Belgium, the St Sixtus Abbey (or Westvleteren Abdij) is home to the Trappist Westvleteren Brewery. The Brewery was founded in 1838 and is owned and operated by the monks of the St Sixus Abbey. As with all other Trappist breweries, the beer is only sold in order to financially support the monastery and other philanthropic causes. Whilst the brewery is a business by definition (its purpose is to make money), it does not exist for pure profit motives, and they do no advertising except for a small sign outside the abbey which indicates the daily availability of each beer. The monks have repeatedly stated that they only brew enough beer to run the monastery, and will make no more than they need to sell, regardless of demand. During World War II, the brewery stopped supplying wholesalers and since then they only sell to individual buyers in person at the brewery or the visitor’s centre opposite. These methods all go against modern business methods, however as stated by the Father Abbott on the opening of the new brewery, “We are not brewers. We are monks. We brew beer to be able to afford being monks.“. The 12 is bottle conditioned and has a long shelf life, with some drinkers preferring the taste when the beer has been stored for several years. This means that the beer ages almost like wine. All together this Trappist brewery produces roughly 500,000 cases of beer per year. That means that they produce roughly 160,000 cases of Westvleteren 12. That is a very small production volume for the #1 rated beer in the world. For this reason, its hard to find and usually very expensive.