Belgian Brewery Has First-Ever Two-Mile Beer Pipeline
Bruges, Belgium is a medieval, fairy-tale city where cobblestone streets slow time down and winding canals beg couples to stop for a kiss. It may also be a frat bro’s heaven where beer flows underground.
It may have all the markings of an urban legend, but De Halve Maan brewery is making a beer lover’s fantasy come true with the construction of an underground pipeline that carries suds from the center of Bruges to a bottling plant outside the city. Measuring about two miles long, the pipeline pumps beer faster than 1,000 gallons an hour.
However novel it may sound, the project is more prosaic than anything. For 160 years, the Maes family has been brewing beer in the center of the city. When the company moved their bottling plant just outside the city limits, beer had to be transported to and from the plant in massive tanker trucks through narrow, cobblestoned streets.
In order to continue operating as one of the last remaining breweries in Bruges without becoming a town nuisance, the family decided to build the pipeline and launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund it. The project was pitched as “social project” for the good of locals with the promise of free beer to their biggest donors.
The appeal worked, and locals contributed $4.5 million to fund the construction. The pipeline is estimated to take 500 tankers a year off the road.
Earlier this year, the Slovenian city of Zalec also made headlines when city officials voted in favor of building a beer fountain, to promote the city’s primary economic activity: hop plantations.
Plans call for the beer fountain to be erected in the town square, where visitors will be entitled to three servings for 6 euros, in a commemorative mug. –Relaxnews