Gent/Westvleteren road trip
posted January 15, 2014 12:37 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Fri January 31 at 8:00 PM, Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant
Groentenmarkt 9, 9000 Ghent, Belgium (Map & Directions)
Weekend trip to Gent, combined with a visit to the Sint-Sixtus brewery in West Flanders to collect cases of Westvleteren beer. Weekend of 1st/2nd Feb.
This is a repeat of last year's successful visit, because people have probably run out by now.

The main idea is to visit the brewery and collect beer, but Gent is a beautiful city and a great place to spend a weekend.

The likely date/time to collect is between 1:30 and 3:30 on Saturday 1st February. However, we might not be able to reserve beer for the date that we want, so this trip is completely provisional until we can confirm. Hopefully we can do that sometime next week.

PS. Norovirus not welcome.
posted by daveje to Meetup (54 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Sign me up! Car is ready for the road trip ±4 seats available, and as much beer-room as we can fit into a Renault Megane!
posted by channey at 10:00 AM on January 15, 2014

I am totally down to give this another, more epidemiologically cautious, shot!
posted by Blasdelb at 10:07 AM on January 15, 2014

Good idea. Dibs on the roommate without norovirus.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:12 PM on January 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

I would absolutely love to go, but I won't be around that weekend. If the dates change, I would be up for it. Enjoy the Westys and Gent!
posted by JiffyQ at 12:05 AM on January 16, 2014

FYI, Liz and I have booked somewhere else this time, an apartment about two minutes walk away from the Cour St Georges. (But still with free cancellation, just in case the beer reservation goes tits up.)
posted by daveje at 10:47 AM on January 16, 2014

BTW, looking at the schedule, we should aiming to book on Monday morning.
posted by daveje at 11:05 AM on January 16, 2014

FYI The schedule is here (

Beer hotline is +32 (0)70 21 00 45

They typically* release the schedule on the Monday morning for the following week, so at the moment they're still only showing the phone schedule for the week up to today (Sunday 19th).

I'll check again tomorrow morning and see how we go.
posted by channey at 4:08 AM on January 19, 2014

* there is nothing "typical" when it comes to ordering West Vleteren!
posted by channey at 4:10 AM on January 19, 2014

Schedule updated, booking Wednesday morning from 8am, beer on 1st Feb is the 12.
posted by daveje at 9:44 AM on January 19, 2014

Nice! I'll be ready 8am Wednesday!
posted by channey at 9:48 AM on January 19, 2014

We're going to have three cars. (Another friend of ours is coming from Koln.) Liz and I can take one more person from Amsterdam, and it looks like that'll be Martin.

How are people doing with hotels?
posted by daveje at 6:18 AM on January 20, 2014

Nothing booked yet, but thinking about using the same hotel as last time; anybody wants to be room mates?
posted by MartinWisse at 11:57 PM on January 20, 2014

Aaah yes, the familiar sound of a busy-westvleteren phone number!

... redialing again..

... and again...

.... and again....!
posted by channey at 11:03 PM on January 21, 2014

Redial #101.. still no beer :(
posted by channey at 11:16 PM on January 21, 2014

Got through on the 10th redial, collecting at 14:30
posted by daveje at 11:43 PM on January 21, 2014

I'm now on redial #223... still not getting through.

What mystical phone are you using?
posted by channey at 11:54 PM on January 21, 2014

Same magical iphone as last year.

Our friend in Koln also got through, 51st redial. Someone's letting the side down here.
posted by daveje at 12:04 AM on January 22, 2014

aaargh.. redial #270...!

Go iPhone - go...! You're dialling +32 70 21 00 45?
posted by channey at 12:06 AM on January 22, 2014

posted by daveje at 12:08 AM on January 22, 2014

What's your car registration? Maybe if two of us are trying in tandem.
posted by daveje at 12:09 AM on January 22, 2014

Redial #290

also, Check your PM :D
posted by channey at 12:11 AM on January 22, 2014

redial 40
posted by daveje at 12:21 AM on January 22, 2014

Somewhere in the mid #350's now, starting to tap my foot along to the beat of the busy tone
posted by channey at 12:24 AM on January 22, 2014

posted by daveje at 12:27 AM on January 22, 2014


a) They prioritise phone calls for non-belgian numbers (+1 for international hype)
b) They then prioritise phone calls from numbers that haven't successfully connected yet
c) They then prioritise phone calls using a thousand sided die
d) They only pick up the phone every five thousand rings
e) Het is altijd pauze tijd, dus zij zijn bezig met zijn boterhamen.
posted by channey at 12:31 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just got through again, and they saw that I used the same phone as before, so I couldn't put something down for your car.

I've just had it dial twice in the last few minutes, so maybe it's getting less busy, best of luck.
posted by daveje at 12:32 AM on January 22, 2014

Yep, I'm pretty certain hypothesis a) & b) might actually be correct..
posted by channey at 12:37 AM on January 22, 2014

.. meanwhile, redial #400
posted by channey at 12:38 AM on January 22, 2014

The number of times I've hit FaceTime instead of their phone number. Gargh.
posted by channey at 1:01 AM on January 22, 2014

At the very least, we've got the same number of crates as last year, even if you don't get through.
posted by daveje at 1:02 AM on January 22, 2014

.. still trying, will be until 12. If I can last. Coffee is good. Redial #580
posted by channey at 1:18 AM on January 22, 2014

Chris, you're a hero.
posted by daveje at 1:45 AM on January 22, 2014

I'm a rat constantly pushing the button, and never getting the cheese.

posted by channey at 2:15 AM on January 22, 2014

Not looking good...
Redial #879, lines open for another 22 minutes
posted by channey at 2:38 AM on January 22, 2014

The alcoholic cheese will be so delicious, could using skype to spoof a foreign number help?
posted by Blasdelb at 2:47 AM on January 22, 2014

So after 990 busy calls, and then.. the line shuts!

I'll try again tomorrow, but I predict more of the same..
posted by channey at 3:00 AM on January 22, 2014

Damn, man. Applause.
posted by logicpunk at 3:01 AM on January 22, 2014

I tried with Skype, though it wouldn't let me through "You currently can't call this number on Skype".

So those 990 calls were made the old fashioned way - I had two phones at one point!
posted by channey at 3:02 AM on January 22, 2014

Hotel booked, 2 person room, same hotel as last time.

Good luck tomorrow channey!
posted by MartinWisse at 11:36 AM on January 22, 2014

Chris, I'll try again tomorrow morning from the home phone, but I can only do this till 8:30.
posted by daveje at 12:13 PM on January 22, 2014

Shit, Saturday is fully booked.
posted by daveje at 11:30 PM on January 22, 2014

My ol' phone just lapsed around to 100 already.. reckon it's quiting time?
posted by channey at 11:33 PM on January 22, 2014

(On preview - I just pushed refresh on the availability page - the last hour was totally in vein! arrggh!)
posted by channey at 11:33 PM on January 22, 2014

Damn, that's harsh. But don't worry, there will still be enough beer to go round!
posted by daveje at 4:04 AM on January 23, 2014

Hopefully everyone has transport and accommodation arranged.

Plan is to meet at the Waterhuis, but that's just for a quick drink and a jumping off point for somewhere else. And the immediate somewhere else involving food! There's the restaurant attached to the Waterhuis, but open to suggestions.
posted by daveje at 4:01 AM on January 30, 2014

Works for me... do you want me to try and get a booking for us for food? Table for 8?
posted by channey at 4:52 AM on January 30, 2014

There's also the spare ribs joint ;) Could we get a table there for around 9pm?
posted by daveje at 6:22 AM on January 30, 2014

Endless ribs is always a good idea!*

There are three all-you-can-rib places just next to the Waterhuis, any preference? The students rave about De Gekroonde Hoofden, but most visiting Australians usually go bananas for Amadeus.

In any case I'll give them a call tonight and see what I can arrange.

* not always a good idea
posted by channey at 7:53 AM on January 30, 2014

I think you took us to Amadeus last time. And I've learned my lesson, which is to watch you like a hawk whenever the waitress comes over.
posted by daveje at 8:10 AM on January 30, 2014

Righto! I might have been unable to reserver Westvleteren, but I had no trouble getting a table for 21:30 tomorrow night!
posted by channey at 9:35 AM on January 30, 2014

I'm afraid I can't make it for the whole trip, what time are you guys planning to get back to Ghent on Saturday? I might be able to take the train up and hang out for a while.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:10 AM on January 31, 2014

Are y'all at the Waterhuis? I'm about to head over. I'll be the one with the short hair and the huge black leather coat.
posted by logicpunk at 11:28 AM on January 31, 2014

We're aiming to be back in Ghent at fiveish tomorrow.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:52 PM on January 31, 2014

Hey guys, I'm at the train station now and can't seem to contact y'all
posted by Blasdelb at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2014

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments