Beer beneath the paving stones of Bruges


Known as the "Venice of the North", Bruges will now be even more popular with tourists and visitors for its beer pipeline. Over the past few days, the most popular drink among Belgians has started to flow beneath the town.

The De Halve Maan brewery, an establishment in the historic centre of Bruges, is almost five centuries old. However, because of a lack of space, its bottling factory was built outside the town. Two years ago, its owner came up with the idea of installing an underground pipeline beneath the town. A bizarre project? Apparently not because over the past few days, it is not petrol flowing beneath the town centre's paving stones... It is beer!

This project's implementation was not an easy task. Indeed, once the Mayor of Bruges' agreement had been obtained, the money had to be found to finance this incredible idea. The participation of many De Halve Maan beer lovers and the municipality meant that this new supply system was inaugurated on Friday 16 September 2016.

In order to design this 3 kilometre long pipeline, which at certain points descends to a depth of more than 30 metres, it was necessary to use techniques used to drill for oil. This system is both practical and environmental: it helps to reduce traffic between the brewery and its bottling factory and, thus, protects the town's historic centre. The latter has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000. The 500 or so truck trips every year used to damage the medieval town's paving stones.

Therefore, the "beeroduct" will transport almost 4,000 litres of beer per hour below the streets of the old town. Its route is part of the public domain. The pipeline, formed by 2 pipes, was manufactured by Denys, a company based in Wondelgem in an area of the town of Ghent. The company specialises in water pipes, gas pipelines and oil pipelines.