Speed Reads

In Bruges

Bruges is building an underground beer pipeline

If someone told you they had an environmentally friendly way to reduce traffic, an underground beer pipeline probably wouldn't be your first guess. But the Bruges City Council has approved plans for just that.

The 1.86-mile-long tunnel will carry 6,000 liters of beer per hour beneath the Belgian city's streets. The beer will be transported from the Brouwerij De Halve Maan, a brewery, to an offsite bottling facility using a polyethylene pipeline, according to Wired. The brewery's CEO, Xavier Vanneste, told Belgium's Het Nieuwsbladsaid that the pipeline will eliminate the need for as many as 500 delivery trucks, clearing the roads and reducing environmental waste.

The cost of the pipeline — as well as road repairs from the installation — will be covered by the brewery, though actual figures have not been announced. Construction of the beer pipeline is expected to start next year. "In time, this innovative investment plan would reduce the amount of transport by heavy goods vehicles by 85 percent," Franky Dumon, the alderman of spatial planning for the Bruges City Council, told Wired. "It is a win-win situation for everyone."

CityLab notes that Bruges isn't the first city to implement a beer pipeline, though — Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland uses underground tubes to take beer from its brewery to a pub across the street.