As It Happens

A pipedream come true: A city in Belgium just laid a beer pipeline

It's a pipeline that has been approved without any opposition or worry from local residents. That's because it's a pipeline for beer. We'll speak to the mayor of Bruges, Belgium about the project.
De Halve Maan brewery is running a beer pipeline under the streets of Bruges, Belgium. (Facebook/De Halve Maan)

A brewery in Belgium is constructing an underground pipeline which will transport its product three kilometres out of the city centre to a bottling facility outside of town.

You know in Belgium, we drink a lot of beer!- Renaat Landuyt

"We don't want too many trucks in our centre, but we like to have our own brewery" Renaat Landuyt, mayor of Bruges tells As It Happens host Carol Off.

"The solution is, 'Let's have a pipeline under the ground.'"

Bruges is a medieval city that has very narrow streets. The popular brewery's trucks often clog up the roads. According to the Wall Street Journal, the owner of the brewery got the idea to create a pipeline after seeing some workmen dig up the street to lay cable.

The mayor of Bruges, Renaat Landuyt, says this is the first time they've allowed a private company access to the underground. (wikipedia)

"The idea came from the brewery itself," says Landuyt. "They wanted to continue working in the historic city and they convinced us that, not only gas, electricity and water, but also beer can find its way underground."

The brewery says that up to 6,000 litres of product will flow through the pipeline per hour.

A local television show floated the idea that residents would be able to tap into the beer pipeline in their homes, but Landuyt laughs that off.

The beer pipeline goes from the brewery, De Halve Maan (The Half Moon), in the city centre to a bottling plant three kilometres away. (Facebook/De Halve Maan)

"That's not a rumour, that's a dream. For the moment, it's not possible." Though, Landuyt adds that the brewery has a very good marketing department.

The brewery partially crowd-funded the pipeline with different levels of memberships. The most expensive membership costs $11,000 CDN. Members at that level are entitled to a 325ml bottle of beer every day — for life.

In total, the brewery has raised $440,000 from the 1000-plus people who have bought memberships.

"You know in Belgium, we drink a lot of beer!" jokes Landuyt.

The pipeline will be operational within the year.


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