Belgian beer drinkers love their dark amber ales, their pale pilsner malts, and thick stouts, but they’re less fond of huge cargo trucks tearing through their lovely tourist cities spewing diesel fumes everywhere.
That was the dilemma facing Belgian brewer Xavier Vanneste, who wanted to bottle the beer Madman of Bruges, or Brugse Zot in Dutch, who couldn’t get his beer to the bottling plant two miles outside town.
The problem: how to transport beer from the brewery to the bottling plant without causing huge traffic jams by forcing huge cargo trucks to navigate tiny medieval cobblestone streets.
The answer: build a beer pipeline of course.
Oil pipelines often draw crowds of protestors with activists worried about environmental disasters, but this Belgian beer pipeline had no such problems. The whole town loved it and while there won’t be spouts along city streets for tourists to quench their thirst, the company is giving everyone who helped crowd fund the project a bottle of beer every day for the rest of their life.
The crowd funded beer pipeline will carry 1,500 gallons of the frothy beverage every hour through pipes six feet underground two miles through the UNESCO-protected medieval Belgian city of Bruges to the plant outside town, according to the SFGate.
“That is a lot of beer, more than you can drink in a lifetime.”
Vanneste said he got the idea when he looked out his window one day and saw city workers installing plumbing pipes underneath the street; and just like that an audacious plan was born, report the Daily Mail.
‘”Jokes were coming in fast, with people saying ‘we are willing to invest as long as we can have a tapping point on the pipeline.'”
While some people laughed at Vanneste, others put down their beer glasses and reached for their wallets; with gold, silver and bronze donor levels, the brewer was able to raise some $400,000 to help complete the $4.5 million project, reports SFGate.
“We have several formulas: bronze, silver and gold. If you put in 7,500 euros ($8,350), you will receive for the rest of your days, every day one bottle of Brugse Zot.”
An $11,000 donation would reach the gold level and entitle the generous benefactor to an 11 ounce bottle of beer every day for the rest of their lives while an $1,100 silver donation earns a case a year, and a $300 bronze donor gets one 25 ounce bottle a year.
Restaurant owner Philippe Le Loup loved the idea of beer pipeline and donated $11,000 for the beer pipeline through his town, reports the Daily Mail.
“You have to be a bit crazy, like the beer, to do such a project. I just had the money for that, and I liked it. So I went crazy and gave the money to the brewery. You can see that in my belly, I am a bit more beer fan.”
Le Loup estimated that if he picked up his free beer every day, he would break even in 15 years and then go on to make a profit.
The Belgian beer pipeline means the city of Bruges won’t lose a distillery to another more industrious town and tourists can continue to marvel at the gothic cobblestone streets that won’t be stained with diesel exhaust, according to ZeroHedge.
“It all started as a joke, nobody believed it was going to work. This beer pipeline means that we’ll be able to remain in the city.”
[Photo credit: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo]