Beer Set to Flow Beneath Bruges' Streets Later This Month

Austin Ray

THE GIST
A two-mile beer pipeline costing an estimated €4 million ($4.5 million) is to be commissioned this month in Bruges, Belgium. The pipeline, which was partially crowdfunded, has been constructed by Brouwerij De Halve Maan, owner of the Brugse Zot and Straffe Hendrik brands. It will transport beer beneath De Halve Maan’s brewery near the center of town to its bottling plant for packaging.

WHY IT MATTERS
This impressive feat of engineering was mostly to ensure less trucks were on the roads of the medieval town, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. While this will undoubtedly help, it still won’t make a great deal of difference to the overall traffic levels within Bruges. De Halve Maan will still have to take deliveries of raw ingredients at its brewery near the town center, for example. 

However, the very fact this pipeline exists will surely provide a boost to Bruges economy, hopefully by reigniting tourist interest in the area. According to The Guardian, tourism in Belgium has decreased one third following the terrorist attacks in Paris last November and Brussels this March.

What might initially have been an expensive publicity stunt could turn out to be a seriously smart move that benefits not only De Halve Maan, but also Belgium as a nation. Just spare a thought for the brewing team that now have to regularly clean an extra two miles of piping. 

—Matthew Curtis

READ MORE
Bruges Beer Pipleline Set To Be Switched On [The Drinks Business]