Innovation That Matters

In Bruges, underground beer pipeline reduces traffic


The De Halve Maan brewery is remaining in the historic city center, and reducing traffic by sending beer direct to its bottling plant via an underground pipeline.

A UNESCO World Heritage City, Bruges is famous for its beer. But transporting the popular drink from city center breweries to bottling plants further afield poses a logistic problem — modern tanker trucks are too large for medieval streets, so they have to inch across the city. Recently, owners of the De Halve Maan brewery hit upon their soon-to-open transport hack — an underground beer pipeline.

Some of the city’s residents may be disappointed to find that the three kilometer long pipeline is located between six and 100 feet underground, making it secure from home tapping. Last year, the brewery (one of only three remaining inside the city) crowdfunded around USD 300,000 of the total pipeline cost of USD 4.5 million.

We’re seeing a number of developments in the brewing industry, including edible six-pack rings designed to save wildlife and crowdsourced brewing recipes. How else could heritage industries marry technology with tradition?



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