On Wednesday, Untappd saw a record number of Westvleteren XII check-ins with the tally for the day passing 200 by 10:30pm EST. Into the night, the rate of check-ins ramped up to as high as 50 per hour.
But not everyone was drinking the beer.
Many who purchased Westvleteren XII on Wednesday exercised a love for free market enterprise and posted the beer up for sale on eBay.
Despite (or perhaps because of) the carefully-coordinated efforts by The Abbey of Saint Sixtus, Shelton Brothers, distributors and retailers not to make it a capitalistic affair, the universal price of $85 for a box of six beers and two chalices, created an opportunity in the aftermarket. $85 may seem like a lot for such a package though it was still well under what a supply-demand equation would otherwise suggest.
And despite eBay’s crackdown on alcohol sales over the past few months, the site couldn’t keep up with the volume of new listings which were going up just minutes apart from one another on Wednesday night.
Over 50 listings were live as of publishing time though eBay was actively removing listings (a page refresh would show a drop in total listings).
The $300-$400 price range was a popular one with the highest ‘Buy it now’ listing set at a cool $1,000.
Earlier in the day, BeerPulse noted that one seller had listed just the empty Westvleteren XII box itself and two chalices for $230. Update: looks like the seller modified the listing to make it more transparent that unopened bottles were included. An apparently-successful way to stay under the radar. Box sold for $450.