In the past few years I've become more interested in Trappist beers (who wouldn't be?). Buying a Chimay or a Rochefort at the LCBO in Ontario is something I now do on the regular.

However, I've heard recently that the shipping process from Europe to the shelves in an LCBO in Ontario takes a long time, and is not always friendly to the beer.

So I wonder:

  • what exactly is the process to get a Trappist from Europe to Ontario?
  • does this process often take it's toll on the beer?

1 Answer 1


Usually beer is shipped, by ship. This is a slow process and can get quite hot. The beers are usually not in temperature controlled environments, just in a container. The heat causes chemical reactions in the beer, making the beer's flavours and aromas change. The temp rise (day) and drop (night) also causes the beer to "age" quicker.

Yes, this process hurts all beers. You can do a simple test. Take 2 cans of beer, put the first in the fridge and leave it there for the week. The second you put in a sunny spot in the house during the day and in the fridge at night. Taste the beers after one week.

  • Thanks for the reply. I was aware that heat damages beer but wasn't sure how it applied during shipment for Ontario. One thing to note is that I contacted the LCBO about their shipping processes on Twitter and they ignored me. That's telling.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 15:40
  • 1
    the analogy is a bad one the light will be a big factor here. i don't say temperature is important for beer transport but in this situation it is not the only factor
    – Arthur D
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 16:52
  • @ArthurD, good point. I should have said in a warm place out of direct sunlight, or cover the beer and then put it in the sun. Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 6:02

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