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Belgians Brew Up Pipeline for Beer

Friday, June 3, 2016

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Beer transportation probably isn’t a city infrastructure priority, unless you’re talking about Milwaukee—or a historic Belgian town. This summer, a brewery in Bruges plans to begin using an underground beer pipeline, according to an article published in Wired.

Located in the medieval city center, the De Halve Maan brewery dates back to 1564, according to the company’s website, and has been owned by the Maes family since 1856.

beer being poured
© / K-Paul

To meet rising demand, De Halve Maan opened a bottling plant in 2010, located some two miles away from the brew house.

To meet rising demand, the company opened a bottling plant in 2010, located some two miles away from the brew house. Since then, the brewery has used trucks to transport approximately 1 million gallons of beer per year between the facilities, which has proved both costly and difficult.

Three years ago, Xavier Vanneste, director of De Halve Maan, came up with a solution: building an underground pipeline that would allow their beer to flow from the brew house to the bottling facility. Now, this bock lover’s dream is coming true.

The Pipeline

Constructed over four months, the project has cost $4.5 million, cash raised in part through online crowdfunding efforts. But raising the money wasn’t the primary obstacle to building a beer pipeline.

© / Walencienne

Bruges’ city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with narrow, cobblestone streets and medieval architecture

Bruges’ city center is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site, with narrow, cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. Engineering firm Depys drilled a 1.3-foot-wide tunnel under the dense city, following a route that avoids disruption of archeological sites, as well as canals and other obstacles. Next, they installed a series of bundled pipes made of high-density, food-grade polyethylene.

According to Wired, the pipeline will be able to transport 1,060 gallons of beer per hour. The medieval town, meanwhile, is expected to benefit by a significant reduction in heavy truck use on its historic streets.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Infrastructure; Latin America; North America; Pipeline; Program/Project Management

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