Lonely Planet Writer

World's first ever 2 mile-long beer pipeline to be built under the streets of Bruges

What started as a joke is soon to turn into a reality. A Belgian brewery is building the longest beer pipeline in the world for a noble cause – the transportation of beer.

Bruges, Belgium
Bruges, Belgium

The 160 year-old De Halve Maan or “The Half Moon” brewery, is located in the picturesque Belgian town of Bruges, where it produces some of the delicious beer Belgians are so famous for. Its proprietor Xavier Vanneste, was tired of seeing his delivery trucks cause traffic jams in the town centre where the brewery is based. So, after seeing some construction workers carry out maintenance on a cable, the idea occurred to him to create a pipeline that would allow the beer to flow underground to the bars.

Belgium beer being poured
Belgium beer being poured Image by Getty Images

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Vanneste said, “It all started as a joke. Nobody believed it was going to work.” But now it appears the beer pipe will be operational in a matter of weeks, and even Bruges’ mayor has come out in support of the project, he told the WSJ that beer is as important an artisanal Belgian product as chocolate is.

The pipeline will cost around $4.5 million and will be made of a speciality polyethylene tube that will be placed six feet underground. 10% of the amount was paid for by funds from the public, who, as a reward will be getting a lifetime’s supply of De Halve Maan beer. The pipe will run for two miles and transport 1,500 gallons of beer an hour under the streets of Bruges.

Craft beer brewery opens in Chicago.
. Image by Quinn Dombrowski / CC BY-SA 2.0

As if it weren’t enough for Bruges to be a Unesco World Heritage site, and the subject of a hit movie by the same name, it is now the location of the first ever beer pipeline!