Belgium is a country with its priorities in order. While Americans debate the merits of oil pipelines, Belgians are using the technology to efficiently distribute suds throughout the country. The beer pipeline began operations last September, and it’s bringing the oldest brewery in the West Flanders capital city of Bruges into the 21st century. This video explains how it works.
Operating a brewery in Bruges isn’t easy since the entire city center is a World Heritage Site. Expanding facilities is nearly impossible, and transporting product on Bruges’ small cobblestone streets can be challenging. The city was once home to more than 30 beer-makers, but the roster eventually dwindled to a single operation on a site that has been home to a brewery for five centuries. These problems are what inspired the Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan (Half Moon Brewery) to build the pipeline. Now, Halve Maan can brew its beers at the historic location and pump them out to a larger bottling and distribution facility that sits two miles outside the city. This system allows the business to keep up with demand.
Construction on the project took four months, but locals decided it was worth the temporary headache. No private properties were affected, and the pipeline is expected to take roughly 500 beer trucks off the city’s roads each year.
• The Beer Pipeline of Bruges [YouTube]
• World’s First Beer Pipeline Finally Turns on the Taps in Belgium [E]
• All Beer Coverage [E]