Underground beer pipeline in Bruges nearing completion

  • Food News
  • Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Bruges, Belgium. Photo: AFP

Bruges is a medieval, fairytale city in Belgium where winding canals beg couples to stop for a kiss, cobblestone streets slow time down and where, by summer's end, beer will flow underground.

It may have all the markings of an urban legend, but De Halve Maan brewery is making the beer lover's fantasy come true with the construction of an underground beer pipeline that will carry suds from the centre of Bruges, to its bottling plant outside the city.

The pipeline, which will measure about 3km by the time it's completed this summer, will pump beer at a speed of 4,000 litres 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 centre 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, which would rumble through the historic, narrow, cobblestoned streets.

In order to continue operating as one of the last remaining breweries in Bruges and avoid becoming the town nuisance, the family came up with the idea of building an underground pipeline and launched a crowdfunding campaign, pitching it as “social project” for the good of locals with the promise of free beer to their biggest donors.

De Halve Maan brewery (in the foreground). Photo: Wikimedia Commons
De Halve Maan brewery (in the foreground). Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The appeal worked, with locals pitching in to help fund the construction which is pegged at about US$4.5mil (RM18mil).

The pipeline, which is due for completion by summer, is estimated to take 500 tankers off the road a year.

Earlier this year, the Slovenian city of Zalec also made headlines when city officials voted in favour 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 (RM27.45), in a commemorative mug. – AFP Relaxnews

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