Life / Food

Rare Belgian beer Westvleteren 12 sells out at LCBO in four minutes

More than 150 people lined up at the LCBO for a chance to get their hands on a rare beer widely regarded as the best in the world.

Retailing for $76.85 for a six-pack of Westvleteren 12, the beer comes from the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus in Vleteren, Belgium. Previously it was only available at the doorstep of the abbey.

Peter Price and Mark Quigley drove from Coburg to the LCBO at Queens Quay and Yonge St. for their chance to snag a case of the rare brew. They left at 6 a.m.

“I guess we’re beer connoisseurs,” said Price. “Quality over quantity … There was a good story behind it. That’s half of it, I think.”

The beer is being sold to help provide funds to repair the monks’ crumbling 19th century abbey. The LCBO received 1,404 six-packs of the rare brew.

Each six-pack includes two souvenir glasses along with the bottles of strong, dark ale. Toronto Star beer columnist Josh Rubin gave the brew four out of four stars.

The store on Queens Quay had 120 cases Tuesday morning.

“We sold out in less than four minutes,” said store manager Robert Saliba. “You know, you feel sorry for the last person.”

Customers flowed into the store well after the beer had sold out, in search of the monks’ brew, only to be turned away empty-handed.

The beer flew off the shelves at stores all across Toronto. A spokesperson for the LCBO couldn’t say whether they were sold out company-wide, but stores reported lineups and sold through their stock in minutes.

One man bought a case to split between his three kids — two bottles each.

“Maybe I’ll keep the glasses,” he joked. The man didn’t give his name for fear of ruining the surprise.

The beer will be rolling out to other stores throughout the week.

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