Belgian monks of Saint-Sixtus abbey in Westvleteren close to the French border have been literally forced into e-commerce to fight black market in beer.
Considered by experts to be the best in the business, the reclusive monks had to change with the times – to an extent.
The monastery is now implementing an online reservation system ensuring that beer fans can only order two crates every 60 days.
Although, orders can be placed anytime, priority will be given to those who have waited the longest over regular customers.
Beer consumers tempted by the regular appearance of its darkest brew at the top of the world rankings must travel in person to Belgium to pick up their allocated two crates of beer on an appointment.
The web store is therefore only accessible to consumers, not to professional buyers.
The move is being made with an eye toward lessening the burden placed on the monks, who previously had to accept orders over a call-in phone system, while also cutting down on the beers’ sale on the secondary market.
One of the monks, Brother Manu van Hecke, the abbot of the abbey, said therationale behind this is togive as many people as possible the opportunity to purchase Trappist Westvleteren at the correct price.
“Anyone who does not adhere to the sales rules and abuses the system will be denied access to the online store” he said.