A city in Belgium now has an underground pipeline for beer and it’s all for a good cause. The medieval city of Bruges is about to have far fewer giant trucks roaming its narrow, picturesque streets. The Halve Maan (Half Moon) brewery is behind this change, making the city a lovelier place to have a tall, cold one. Bruges is an UNESCO world heritage site, and this will help preserve its charm. Half Maan’s managing director, Xavier Vanneste, didn’t want to move the brewery outside of the city, as Bruges has been brewing beer for 575 years. Vanneste is, in fact, the fifth generation of brewmasters working at Halve Maan, which began making beer back in 1856.
Though the brewery does its work right there in the city, a bottling plant is located a little ways outside of Bruges. 10 to 15 trucks, around 40 tons each, drive through the tiny cobbled streets every week. The last of those trucks went through on Tuesday and the new pipeline, which took four years of planning and five months of construction, according to Huffington Post, will transport the golden liquid to the bottling plant two miles away. The Flemish government helped out with this pipeline, which cost around 4 million euros ($4.5 million), but Halve Maan also raised 350,000 euros through crowdfunding. The reward? Not a dumb shirt or a DVD of the pipeline being built. Investors get paid in beer, “a bottle a day for life for 750,000 euros.” Those giving smaller amounts might get a six pack on their birthday. Over 500 people invested in this magical tunnel of beer.
Vanneste said he was inspired to create the pipeline after seeing construction workers building one for a different purpose, according to a video from Reuters. He said he was speaking to the guys building it and realized that “building a beer pipeline would be feasible, and was actually something that was not just a dream.” In fact, it could actually allow them to produce more product. The pipeline will carry over 1,000 gallons, or 12,000 bottles of beer in an hour, beginning on Friday, and will run all day and night.
The Mayor of Bruges, Renaat Landuyt, told Euronews, “It was so important to find that solution for our mobility problem, because if we want to work in a modern way, from time to time we need to let trucks enter the historical city, and that is what we don’t like, because it is always a risk for the historical buildings and streets.”
It sounds like a lovely idea, and if you’re going to get on board with a crowdfunding project, free beer for life is a pretty good way to go. And you’re helping the environment, but that’s not really why you donated, is it? It’s cool. It’s beer, after all. This tunnel is the first of its kind, but if it goes over well, it’s certainly a good solution for other smaller European cities with a hoppy history. What do you think of the idea? Tweet me/us @JennaBusch/@Nerdist and let us know what you think. If another one of these happens, would you donate? Burp.
Image credit: Focus Features