In ancient India, Soma was the preferred drink of the Devas and the Asuras. They fought a lot of wars for possessing this valued drink. It was so popular that it is praised in many hymns in the Vedas.
Not much is known now about its manufacturing process however it is thought that it was made from some hallucinogenic Himalayan plant. The supreme Indra is said to have enjoyed drinking Soma to his heart’s content.
It is not known whether the Rishis made it or someone else but now that knowledge is lost, maybe for ever.
But not to worry as in today’s world, the monks have taken to brewing beer and this beer is for the common man like you and me.
These Belgian monks have been brewing, what is known as Trappist beer but they have certain rules for their customers. The customers cannot resell the beer; it is for their own consumption.
The monks have a well defined process of selling their beer. People can order by phone and can collect a maximum of two crates in person. But due to its limited availability this beer is comparatively expensive.
Precisely the reason why it piqued the interest of middlemen. They saw cool profits by selling it in the black market. Or to make it a part of legitimate business. Just like a famous Dutch supermarket did, by selling it at inflated prices. And they had been able to stock a staggering 7200 bottles! How? How was a company able to buy in such volumes?
This question caused them sleepless nights and they had to take steps to overcome this commercialisation of their non-profit venture, which was meant to cover the annual costs of running their abbey.
So they have stopped phone bookings and turned to a more efficient and customer friendly online reservation system. Under this system the customers will have to give their Aadhar card details, or rather, their address and car number, as they stay in Europe. And a single buy will be limited to two crates of beer for a period of 60 days. Priority will be to those who have waited the most since their last purchase.
And no, the Trappist beer is not expected to be sold in the near future in India. We don’t have any Belgian monks… otherwise I was already imagining a few Indians reading this, sharpening their Aadhar Cards for booking a crate or two and swiping their credit cards.