The Suitcase Lady


September 27, 2016, 9:22 pm

My state is populated with beer drinkers, my husband worked at the Schlitz Brewery for many years and I schlep beer home from the grocery store every week. Yet in ten years of weekly blogs, I have never written about beer….until now.

The Belgian city of Bruges is responsible for this post. Quaint little Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has just made beer history. They have built the world’s first beer pipeline which runs two miles under the cobblestone streets and canals of their burg.

The 500 year old brewery, De Halve Mann (The Half Moon), is in the historic heart of medieval Bruges. Hordes of tourists are cited by the brewery’s owners as the impetus for the pipeline. The brewhouse’s big tanker trucks of beer could no longer navigate safely through the narrow, visitor-packed streets to reach the bottling plant on the outskirts of town.

After watching utility cables being installed under a street, the brewery’s director, Xavier Vanneste, had a “what if?” moment. He decided to create a beer pipeline. The architecture of Bruges may be frozen in the past, but the thinking of its beer barons decidedly is not.

Twenty-first century thinking was also employed to fund the 4.5 million dollar pipeline. An Internet crowdsourcing campaign was started to raise part of the money. More than 500 donors bellied up. They will be rewarded for their contributions with beer.

Mr. Vanneste explains that “someone that only made a small investment will get maybe a pack of beer every year on his birthday. But someone who paid the maximum amount may receive up to one bottle of beer a day for the rest of his or her life.”

If you love beer and can handle crowds, you may want to visit Bruges. In addition to fairytale architecture and beer, the city is famous for its Belgian chocolates and lace shops. And now you also can search for Bruges’ newest tourist attraction, a transparent manhole cover. Peer down and you will see the beer pipeline carrying 1,000 gallons or 12,000 glasses of beer per hour.

Op uw gezondheid!



Photo – Peter Little

2 Comments for this entry