Brewery tours

Beer & Pipedreams: About Famous Beer Pipeline of Belgium

There are many medieval cities in Belgium and Bruges tops them all as the best preserved one. The turreted manor houses, picturesque canals and gilded spires are the main attraction for millions of tourists each year. But beneath this historic city, something more remarkable exists; a long pipeline of 2-mile which is exclusively made for beer.

Tom Scott, the famous YouTuber visited Bruges recently so that the viewers can see closely watch the working of this innovative and unique system of beer transportation. This pipeline, also known as booze tube, is operating from last September and carries more than 1,300 gallons beer each hour from the oldest working brewery of the city near Bruges’s center to a bottling plant located on the outskirts. The whole setting can be assumed like this – original brewery is the heart which pumps the Belgian lifeblood from the veins of polyethylene so that the oldest tradition of country can be kept alive. The other benefit of this booze tube is that the city center gets rid of beer-laden tankers. These tankers often face difficulty to pass through the narrow roads which were originally made for carts and horses.

The Half Moon (Halve Maan) brewery produces about 5 million liters beer each year and this means many transport trucks rounding in this tourist-crowded city. According to Xavier Vanneste, the director of brewery, this new pipeline will reduce 250-300 tanker trucks each year in the city of Bruges.

The control of this brewery was taken over by ancestors of Vanneste in 1856, and when most beer makers were hit hard during trying times, the Halve Maan left unaffected and grew significantly in last 150 years.

Vanneste explains that, “From many generations, the brewers have worked hard for the improvement in quality of their beers. The implementation of latest and much advanced technologies has improved the efficiency, quality of beer, and production techniques.”

Today, Belgian beer is demanded worldwide and with the flourishing craft beer industry, Halve Maan enjoys huge sales and at present its products are exported to over 30 countries. This growth demands bigger premise but Vanneste choose not to forget tradition and gain commercial interest. A large bottling plant was required by him and on the other hand, he didn’t want to leave the base.

This caused the birth of pipeline and the cost of this unique project installation was $4.5 million and the whole process required planning of 4 years, construction of 5 months and numerous hours were spent to convince city officials that such a big hose of beer was a big reason to dig the holes in this medieval city.

The people who visits Bruges can catch a glimpse of this engineering marvel through a transparent cover of manhole carved in the cobblestone near brewery. And when you will be in this area, do not forget to go for a brewery tour at Halve Maan. A part of the brewery is turned into museum and recently it was revamped to comprise a preview at authentic kiln.

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