Enough beer to fill 12,000 bottles an hour flows in a pipeline below the 1,200-year-old city of Bruges, Belgium. 

The 3km pipeline connects De Halve Maan brewery in the city’s historic centre to a bottling plant in the suburbs.

More than €300,000 (R4.8 million) out of the project’s €4 million (R64 million) cost was financed through a crowdfunding campaign, the largest in Belgium's history. 

“Everyone always thought, ‘it’s a dream, it’s a joke, it is something that is not realisable at all,’” De Halve Maan brewery director Xavier Vanneste told the Guardian.

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The pipeline is a practical solution to the logistical nightmare of having trucks thundering daily through the narrow medieval cobbled streets of the town. 

The last truck left old Bruges, a Unesco World Heritage Site, in September 2017, when the pipeline came online.

It was inspired when Vanneste saw workmen laying broadband cables outside his house.

“When I started talking to those guys, I realised it was possible, it was feasible.”

De Halve Maan brewery is repaying the thousands of people who supported the project with free beer, with the people who paid the top rate of €7,500 (R120,500) receiving a free beer every day for the rest of their lives. 

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