Thousands Of Gallons Of Beer Now Flow Under Bruges Straight To The Tap

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By Cooking Panda

A lot of people say that Belgium is the beer capital of the world, and, indeed, you could certainly make the case. Actually, as of today, you wouldn’t be wrong to say that beer literally flows beneath its streets.

That’s right — all of your beer dreams are coming to pass, as the medieval city of Bruges, Belgium, has begun operating the world’s very first beer pipeline. After nearly 4,000 years of beer, we’ll go on record and say it’s about darn time.

“As far as we know, this is the first time ever that such a thing has been done,” Xavier Vanneste, the director of De Halve Maan (“The Half Moon”) brewery, told The New York Times in an interview. “It’s an old product, but an innovative project.”

The two-mile pipeline, which can pump more than 1,000 gallons (approximately 12,000 bottles worth) of beer per hour, cost a whopping $4.5 million, but no one can say the money didn’t go to good use — especially the lucky donors who got a lifetime supply of free beer “in proportion to their contribution.”

“For example, someone that only made a small investment will get maybe a pack of beer every year on his birthday,” said Vanneste. “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.”

Beyond the reward of free daily-to-yearly beer, the donations went to a noble cause, since the 500-year-old brewery was struggling with their usual daily beer shipments, which were becoming treacherous and expensive in the medieval town that receives nearly two million tourists per year in its old, narrow streets.

“We wanted to avoid running big expensive tanker trucks back and forth transporting our beer,” explained Vanneste. “So we constructed a direct pipeline from the brewery to the bottle room.”

Vanneste and his people examined the city’s existing infrastructure and realized that there was actually an easy built-in solution.

“We got the idea from looking at other life provisions that run through pipes,” he said. “Water pipes, electricity pipes, cable distribution, etc. So why wouldn’t that be possible for beer?”

Unfortunately, it will be a while until Bruges locals (or anyone, for that matter) can have beer taps installed in their homes, despite TV pranksters who successfully convinced locals otherwise, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sources: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal / Photo credit: Redlands597198/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: beer pipeline, Belgian beer, Belgium, Bruges, world's first
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Guess What! Science Has Figured Out A Way To Make Beer Out Of Pee!

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By Cooking Panda

If you’re a beer snob, there’s a good chance that you’ve said, at least once in your life, that the light, watery beer you are drinking resembles urine. Now, there is a group of Belgian scientists that will make you eat your words — or, heaven forbid, drink them.

Light beer drinkers, rejoice: Scientists at the University of Ghent in Brussels, Belgium, announced that they created a machine that uses the sun to convert urine into drinkable water and fertilizer, some of which they will be brewing into beer, according to Reuters.

The water filtration system is energy-efficient and would particularly benefit rural areas that have little access to electricity and where clean water is hard to come by.

“We’re able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy,” said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.

Here’s how it works: First, the urine collects in a huge tank that is heated in a solar-powered boiler. Then it moves through a membrane that separates the water, as well as potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients.

Researchers introduced the device at a 10-day music and drama festival in Ghent, where they were able to extract more than 250 gallons of water from festival-goers’ pee, publicizing it under the hashtag #peeforscience.

Guess what they’re doing with those 250 gallons? Brewing it into beer, of course!

“We call it from sewer to brewer,” Derese said of the pee-water that will be brewed in the beer capital of the world.

The festival urine beer sounds a little wacky, but in context, it’s not that out there.  People have brewed beer with whale carcasses, elephant dung, human beards, Rocky Mountain Oysters (also known as bull testicles) and actual oysters in the past, according to Mental Floss. And just last year, one water treatment company in Oregon began brewing beer from reclaimed sewage water (a.k.a. toilet flushings) — don’t worry, they purified it first.

We’ve seen everything.

Sources: Reuters, Oregon Public Broadcast, Mental Floss / Featured Photo Credit: millercoors/Instagram

Tags: Belgium, pee water, reclaimed water beer, turn urine into beer, weird beer
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