I stumbled upon this place online somewhere while doing research for my first trip to Belgium, three years ago. An old mate of mine and I decided to take a long weekend and drive across to the Abbey of St Sixtus in Westvleteren to get some of the famous beer that the monks there brew. I was looking for a good beer shop with a wide selection that we could stop at on our way back, before crossing back to England.
I now come here every time I travel to the continent. It’s conveniently located but a few miles from the French / Belgian border in the village of Abele, near Poperinge and the Abbey, not far from Calais.
From the road, it just looks like a collection of small farm buildings in the middle of the Belgian countryside. In fact, it’s easy to miss entirely, I usually drive past it at least once ever time before finding it. If you’re very sharp-eyed, you’ll notice a small sign that says ‘Bier Shop’ by the side of the road.
When you go into the shop, it just looks like a small rural grocery shop. As you turn a corner, however, you’re presented with row upon row of different beers. There must be hundreds, with all the Trappist breweries (besides Westvleteren) represented as well as tons of other Belgian beers including pale ales, abbey beers and lambics.
If, like me, you’re travelling with your missus, it’ll please her to know that the shop also has a brilliant selection of superb Belgian chocolates, as well as cheese and pate. K spent about €20 and we came home with boxes and slabs of it, even she hasn’t managed to put much of a dent in it yet.
We didn’t have long to spend there before our scheduled channel crossing, so I just got mainly old favourites, along with a few interesting new beers and some lambic fruit beers for K. Also 2x new 75cl Chimay Bleus (2010) for my beer-cellar. Sadly, however, they were all out of De Koninck 😦