All those ultimate bar or pub fantasies featuring beer flowing from the pipe right into the bar have been realised in a Belgian city. A two-mile-long underground pipe in Bruges will snake underneath the cobbled city streets and pump beer right into a brewery.
Traffic congestion is the biggest nightmare in the winding city streets of Bruges. The De Halve Maan brewery was especially affected by the traffic bottleneck as a million gallons of beer were transported annually from a brewery to a bottling plant outside the city. Their concept of a pipeline for beer was to install a dedicated route for the beer delivery.
The installed pipelines form a series of bundled pipes that can deliver around 1060 gallons of beer in an hour. The ideator of the beer pipeline is the owner of De Halve Maan, Xavier Vanneste. Vanneste hit upon the idea of a beer pipeline as he saw the cable networks being installed in the city.
Engineering a pipeline for beer was not an easy task. It took Vanneste more than three years to procure the permit, collect sufficient funds and construct the pipeline to transport beer. Given the historical significance of the city buildings, the route of the pipeline had to be researched thoroughly.
The pipe cost $4.5 million, of which $335000 were raised via crowdfunding from the beer lovers all over the world.
Another challenge faced by Vanneste was to ensure that the taste and quality of the beer were preserved as it travelled down the pipeline. Thus, in accordance with the food safety protocols, high-density polyethene is used to manufacture the pipe with a food-grade plastic. When not in use, jets of cleaning solutions will be used to clean and disinfect the pipe thoroughly.
The beer pipeline became active this summer.