Vleteren is a beer village par excellence. Westvleteren is home to the famous Abbey of St. Sixtus, which brews a series of ‘trappist’ ales (6°, 8° and 12°!) which in their time have been voted as the best beer in the world. The ‘Struise Brouwers’ in neighbouring Oostvleteren have also been honoured as being amongst the world’s best brewers. Their real imperial stouts, such as ‘Black Albert’, are highly prized by beer aficionados. But did you know… that during the retreat to Dunkirk in May 1940, the British General (later Field Marshall) Sir Bernard Montgomery entrusted his travelling trunk to the monks at the abbey of St. Sixtus. The monks even buried the trunk when a German officer later became suspicious. After the liberation of Belgium in 1944, ‘Monty’ had his trunk sent for.
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