Belgians Innovate with (What Else?) Beer

A Bruges-based brewery builds an underground pipeline to funnel beer from brewery to nearby bottling plant
underground alcohol

Wikimedia Commons

‘Underground alcohol’ just got a whole new meaning.

Starting in September, beer will flow freely throughout the Belgian city of Bruges — just not above ground.

The city council has approved the creation of a 3-km long pipeline from a brewery in the middle of the city to its bottling plant just outside. The pipeline will replace the steady stream of trucks that must navigate the cobbled streets of the city center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Brewery De Halve Maan (Half Moon) has been brewing beer in the heart of Bruges for 160 years. However, the ancient cobbled streets and vast network of canals has made transporting beer by truck incredibly inefficient.

By building the pipeline, which will pump beer fast enough to fill 12,000 bottles an hour, De Halve Maan has also eliminated the polluting gases emitted by their trucks. In order to build the pipeline, the brewers crowdfunded the 4 million euro project, offering free beer to investors.

Upon completion, tourists on the famed cobbled streets will literally be walking above a river of beer. Plus, a pipeline would make thefts like these significantly more difficult.

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