Many of Europe’s oldest cities face a constant battle between preserving their historic streets and embracing the modern world, and this makes something as simple as delivering a keg of beer a few miles away an arduous task of navigating narrow cobblestone streets and twisting canalways. Belgian brewery De Halve Maan has found a clever way to deliver its beer to the people of Bruges without having to deal with the medieval city’s winding streets: It is building a 3 kilometer pipeline straight from the brewery to the city center.
“At the moment our huge tankers have constantly to make their way through the narrow streets of Bruges,” De Halve Maan CEO Xavier Vanneste said when the pipeline was first announced. “That’s no longer sustainable. This beer pipeline means that we’ll be able to remain in the city.”
The brewery, which produces the Brudges Zot and Straffe Hendrik beers, first launched the pipeline project through a crowdfunding campaign nearly one year ago, and now after raising over €300,000 (roughly $340,000 USD), the company hopes to complete construction on the pipeline by the end of the summer. The 21 Bruges citizens who helped fund De Halve Maan’s campaign will each receive one bottle of beer per day from the brewery indefinitely.
In a more recent update, Vanneste boasted that the new pipeline will be capable of delivering over 1,000 gallons of beer per hour, crossing rail lines, canals, a major highway, and a number of small city streets. This will allow the brewery to keep local bars stocked while also protecting the historic streets from the constant traffic of its delivery trucks.
Bruges is a popular tourist destination located about 5 miles from the Belgian coastline, and it is perhaps best known by many non-Europeans as the setting for the 2008 film In Bruges starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes.