Belgium’s Halve Maan boasts that their brewery has been around since at least 1564, long before the advent of indoor plumbing, let alone the brand’s newest breakthrough when it comes to transporting liquids: the world’s first underground beer pipeline.
Back in May, we wrote about the rapidly-growing brewer’s plan to open the unique beer pipeline that covers a two-mile stretch from their original brewery in the heart of the medieval city of Bruges over to the brand’s packaging facility on the outskirts of town. As Halve Maan ramped up production, getting trucks in and out of the brewery in the tiny, crowded streets of the tourist-filled World Heritage Site became increasingly difficult, suddenly turning the (ahem) pipedream idea of running beer underground from one location to another into the most logical solution.
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Now, finally, De Halve Maan’s pipeline is officially open for business. Last week, the brewery’s beer tankers made their final runs, and on Friday the beer pipeline was put into operation, meaning that all of the beer being sent from brewery to bottling line travels via the 10,748-foot tube at a rate of approximately 12,000 bottles worth every hour.
“As far as we know, this is the first time ever that such a thing has been done,” Xavier Vanneste, the director of De Halve Maan brewery, said according to the New York Times. Though I doubt beer pipelines will ever become as prevalent as running water, I’m wondering how long until I can get a direct conduit to my house.