By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – The holidays will be extra special for many beer aficionados this year thanks to Julio's Liquors. Hundreds lined up at the Westborough store this evening for the chance to purchase what many call one of the best beers in the world – Westvleteren 12.
Each year, the Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium make limited batches of three types of beer. According to their website, they do so in order to just attain financial stability and not necessarily as a profitable business venture. Hence, they only make about 160,000 cases a year.
Tom Welton, the operations manager for Julio's, said the beer deserves its reputation as being one of the best.
“It really is considered the holy grail of beers,” he said. “It tastes almost like a port with some nice fruit flavors in it and a hint of sweetness.
Normally the beer is only available in Belgium but through a special agreement with the monks, a select number of U.S. retailers were given the opportunity to purchase a limited quantity. ?Julio's was able to get their allotment through its importer, Shelton Brothers, Welton said.
“They always get phenomenal beers for us, the small batch, artisanal ones,” he said. “We had to go through a lot of loopholes to get this one but it's worth it.”
Hundreds of fans, some of whom had waited for up to two hours, agreed.
One of the first in line was Donna Arsenault, who had traveled from Leominster. She was planning, she said, to give the beer to her husband as a birthday gift.”
“I didn's mind the wait,” she said. “I's happy to do it, plus I got to meet some nice people.”
Rob Robertson, a resident of Ashland, was another patron who planned on giving the beer away.
“I's getting this for a friend but if he wants to share it with me, that's ok!” he said.
Max Cohen had made the nearly two and half drive from his Litchfield, Conn. home after hearing about the event on National Public Radio.
“I didn's consider myself a beer connoisseur before but I do now!” he laughed.