The Belgian Trappist monks of Saint-Sixtus abbey in Westvleteren, which is close to the French border, have been brewing beer since the 19th Century. Production is strictly limited to ensure that beer does not eat into their holy duties. Their beer is amongst the world’s most sought after and they are now launching an online reservation system, which is designed to prevent third parties from selling their bottles on at inflated prices. At the monastery, a beer costs £2.23 per bottle, but has been sold for up to £12 in Brussels. Having discovered that their beer was being sold on in this fashion, the 19 monks have turned to e-commerce.
The new system allows purchasers to place two crates every 60 days and priority is given to those who have waited the longest; a fair and equitable system - just what you would expect from a group of monks.