# Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

The Belgian city of Bruges has approved plans to build a pipeline which will funnel beer underneath its famous cobbled streets. Locals and politicians were fed up with huge lorries clattering through the cobbled streets and tiny canal paths of the picturesque city and decided to connect the De Halve Maan brewery to a bottling …

1. Let's see now.... 2 miles, 1500 gallons / hour, 15 minutes to get there...

I was going to make a rough estimate of pipe diameter, but I don't have a back of a beermat to hand.

1. Will bring a new meaning to cleaning the beers pipes once a week.

2. 1" would do it

3. IAUNABPE but

Flow = 1500 gallons per hour = 1.89e-3 m3s-1

Velocity = 2 miles in 15 minutes = 12.9 km per hour = 3.58ms-1

Area = 1.89e-3 / 3.58 = 0.000528m2

Radius = sqrt (0.000528/pi) = 0.013 m

Diameter = 0.026m = 2.6 cm.

I Am Unfortunately Not A Beer Pipe Engineer but ... I reckon allowing for resistance you're still only looking at a 2" pipe or so.

1. I can't stop myself now. Oh dear, oh dear.

1500 gallons/hour is 1.84 Litres/sec

I must confess I don't have charts for beer, only water. I'm using my trusty IOP Plumbing Engineering Services Design Guide.

But you won't be using a small pipe, as frictional resistance is going to be huge.

If you used a 50mm (2") copper/steel pipe, the frictional resistance would be 0.02m per metre run of pipe. Tiny you say? Aha, but run that for around 3,000m? You have a pressure drop of 60m, i.e. 6 bar. So you'd need a seriously chunky pump.

Therefore I'd suggest using at least a 76mm (3") pipe, which gives a frictional resistance of 0.004m/m - and a pressure drop of 1.2 bar. I'd have thought that pumping beer too hard might not be good for it, so you might even consider a 4" pipe. After all, the cost comes in digging the trench, the actual pipe is quite a small proportion of that.

To add a further complication, plastic pipe has thicker walls. You might choose to use multi-layer pipe for this job, in which case you tend to go up one pipesize.

Just to be silly, if you used 1" pipe, the frictional resistance at 1.8 L/sec is 0.5m/m. So the pressure drop over 2 miles would be 150 bar.

Bruges has got some steep hills. So it may be that you can just run the pipe downhill. It's certainly a steep walk from the town centre to the station.

I wonder what the risk is of the locals tapping into the pipe enroute?

1. #### Steep hills

Not that I've ever seen.

The beer is great though.

2. Hills in Bruges? Not that I've staggered over...

3. Brugge (the town name that the locals use) means "bridges". The town is called "bridges" 'cos there are 10's of the things crossing the river and canals around which the city is built. Many of these bridges are old and not designed for modern heavy traffic. Which is why the council don't want lorries full of heavy beer crossing them or using the cobbled streets that surround them. Remember that road wear is proportional to the 4th power of the mass of the vehicle causing it.

So, no hills.

(PS why do the British insist on calling towns and cities in Flanders by their (hated) French names)

1. Like Anvers? Or Bruxelles? Or Gand?

2. >>PS why do the British insist on calling towns and cities in Flanders by their (hated) French names)<<

Stoopid Flanders.

(Need a Homer icon)

1. #### Well

it's our language so we can do what we want... I suppose. You could then go on to ask why the Flemish insist on using their own strange names for Wallonian towns.

More interesting yet is that we use the French language version for Bruges but we call the near by related Zeebrugge (Bruges-on-sea) by the Flemish name.

Still no hills though but yes, plenty of bridges and cobbled streets in the old part of the town.

3. #### Ieper

(PS why do the British insist on calling towns and cities in Flanders by their (hated) French names)

The insistence referring to Ieper as Ypres - often in a silly French accent - is my bête noire.

Although with sans-serif fonts, it's easy to misread.

1. #### Re: Ieper

Wipers** is a lot easier than the inevitable Leper and a lot kinder if you ask me,

IMHO the reason for us brits preferring to use the French names is that bits of our language come from French (1066 and all that) and a lot more of us speak at least a few words of it than we do Flemish/Dutch/whatever.

** Four of my great uncles are listed on the Meni Gate and one at Tyne Cot so that part of the world is well known to my Family. The name of the British military newspaper published there was the Wipers Times.

2. #### Re: Ieper

D'accord. C'est enervant.

4. #### " Which is why the council don't want lorries full of heavy beer "

And indeed, Belgium is not known for brewing light beers.

4. #### Don't forget it's a carbonated fluid........

Beer contains dissolved CO2 gas. Those gas bubbles actually INCREASE the friction present in the piping. You effectively need a supercomputer to model the resultant "Two Phase Flow" of beer, soda etc. Regular sizing calculations do not work as expected as the viscosity and density will fluctuate with any change in flow rate, pressure or temperature. Even the variety of beer will change all the physical properties for flow calculations.

The correct velocity will be MUCH less than used with water, any elbows should be large sweep type or even custom bent and the piping should be all welded and highly polished 316 SST. Valves need to be crevice free and full port Ball type. Don't forget the pipe "cleanouts" so the beer stone can be removed.

I don't suggest centrifigal pumps, "peristaltic" pumps might be good or ejector style (air over hydraulic) as they are more gentle to the fluid.

Just ask yourself do you put your beer in a blender and what happens to it after you do it?

Otherwise there will be a lot of flat beer.

There are three things that give head in Belgium, only one of them includes beer taps.

1. #### Re: Don't forget it's a carbonated fluid........

The CO2 gas may be topped up at the bottling plant, so this can probably be worked around.

5. "So the pressure drop over 2 miles would be 150 bar."

Yeah, but with the pressures required to get the flow in a 1" pipe, just imagine the beer fountains the next time some contractor digs into it.

6. How about allowing for growth, Whatever size pipe you come up with for today's capacity, next year's could be double so a 4" pipe becomes a 6" pipe to ensure some future proofing.

7. How about allowing for growth, Whatever size pipe you come up with for today's capacity, next year's could be double so a 4" pipe becomes a 6" pipe to ensure some future proofing.

2. #### oops...

I appear to have hit a pipe while I was digging this trench. Under my shop which isn't a bar, despite what it looks like...

1. #### Re: oops...

According to Belgian media the pipe will run by the canal so you'd probably need to set-up a floating bar.... but it could work :-)

3. #### So it would be called a "beer main"?

Lovely idea and great fun when the pipe breaks. Let's hope they do a detailed map of the underground pipe.

1. #### Re: So it would be called a "beer main"?

It's not a beer main until there's a tap in every kitchen

4. #### it makes sense

After all, what is the point of extracting the beer from deep underground wells, pumping it to a bottling plant, and then transporting it by truck or lorry to the pub, when you could pump it directly from the bowels of the earth to the pub, cutting out the middlemen and preserving the wonderful freshness of it...

1. #### Re: it makes sense

SCIENCE!

So it was worth it to guarantee Belgium's neutrality after all.

2. #### Re: it makes sense

Is this why I have often felt like saying

THERE'S BEER IN THEM THERE HILLS!!!!

when in Belgium?

3. #### Re: it makes sense

The problem is that people have heard about these underground beer aquifers and misunderstood. This is why so many pubs connect the large plastic pipes they find underground directly to their lager pumps. Not realising that these pipes link to the outlet of their urinals. Fortunately no one has yet noticed...

But there is a reason why there's a whole section of the 1999 Water Regulations dedicate to the correct marking and colour coding of pipes.

The interesting question is which came first. Was it the belgian chocolate miners who first stubled across the beer wells? Or was it people drilling for beer who found the rich seams of chocolate to mine? Bruges is certainly a rich source of both.

1. #### Re: it makes sense

The problem is that people have heard about these underground beer aquifers and misunderstood. This is why so many pubs connect the large plastic pipes they find underground directly to their lager pumps. Not realising that these pipes link to the outlet of their urinals. Fortunately no one has yet noticed...

Once every two weeks or so I see a beer tanker from a large brewery replenishing the cisterns of a conference centre near where I work. The pipe joint is under a manhole cover; there are three more in close proximity, but none of them is marked 'beer' or 'not beer', and anyway, he could just use one of the others to get rid of the beer, it won't make any difference. But then, why bother driving out from the brewery in the first place? Don't they have sewers?

Glass of locally-brewed and bottled stuff, instead.

4. #### Re: it makes sense - We're Only Making Plans For Nigel

"when you could pump it directly from the bowels of the earth to the pub"

Belgians have been terrorising honest, decent upstanding British (but not you bastard Scots) people for far too long, this tyrrany should be stopped at once!!

We, of the once United Klingondoms, are ready to send in as many of other countries troops as is required.

The threat of an increase in power of this beer-rich country has already decimated house prices.

5. #### tremendous security risk

Police and secret service types yesterday warned that the planned beer pipeline would be likely to give rise to a whole new and scary breed of terrorists, who were determined to attack the pipeline at all cost, coerced in strange sermons called 'dares' by barely intelligible, ritually inebriated 'mates' in dark dens of depravity called 'pubs', increasing the risk of terrorism a thousand fold or even more. Apparently there are millions of these potential terrorists. You could be one of them.

6. #### More importantly...

... will they be installing beer hydrants at regular intervals along the pipeline? And will a standard fire hydrant key & stand pipe fit them?

Hic...

7. #### I must buy a fracking company.

and a house in Bruges.

8. How long before they can extend the pipeline to all EU countries?

1. So they have the london/amsterdam/frankfurt internet exchanges.

Could they do something similar for beer?

1. ALEX ?

9. Of course they still need hundreds of trucks to bring the malt in and the ... trub out.

1. #### Upvote ...

sir/madam, for use of the excellent and under-used word "trub".

10. Or they could just pump it along the sewers.

11. #### 500 trucks a year?

That's all that bothers them? That's 2 trucks per working day, roughly. Is this really worth the trouble of running a whole new pipeline under the city?

Is it really 500 lorries a day?

1. #### Re: 500 trucks a year?

500 carriages a second

1. #### Re: 500 trucks a year?

"500 carriages a second"

Ding!

<fx>carriage return</fx>

12. #### Meanwhile in London ...

The Gordon's distlillery is to install a network of fine tubes through which capillary action will draw gin directly to the dispensing nozzles in London's public houses.

They have dubbed the technology, 'fibre optics'.

Bastard!

1. #### Re: Meanwhile in London ...

Sorry Mum!

13. "this is unique" apart from the one example I'll give you which means it isn't.

1. It's a little bit unique.

14. The Belgian equivalent of B&Q has just reported a massive run on pipe tapping kits... Meanwhile at the bottling plant, they can't seem to get any beer out the pipe, no matter how much the brewery puts it!

15. What about cross contamination? Different beers , different breweries etc. Cleaning the pipes will be annoying!

1. #### This has been tackled before

Try Duff Brewery's solution?

16. beer under the streets, pipelaying vessel seen leaving hull

only possible conclusion: GCHQ is already working on lawful intercept

17. #### Go there!

Bruges is an absolutley awesome city. I've visited quite a few times in the past, and the Halve Maan brewery tour is a something of a highlight. Complimentary Bruges Zot, unfiltered, uncarbonated, straight from the tanks....lovely stuff

1. #### Re: Go there!

I hope they brew a beer called Half Biscuit...

2. #### Re: Go there!

Our brewery tour guide was a woman with a wicked, dry sense of humour and a completely deadpan face. She was brilliant.

"When you finish the tour and start drinking in our bar, you will first write down the name of your hotel. This is so that we can give instructions to the taxi when we decide that it is time for you to leave. It is no good saying that you are staying in an hotel with a large church beside it. We have fifteen of them."

18. #### Not unique

Xavier Vanneste has it wrong. The largest brewery in Poland, Tyskie Browary Książęce, also pipes it's product through the city to it's distribution centre.

1. #### Re: Not unique

I also thought that the De Koninck brewery in Antwerpen also did this.

19. #### Erm

I thought Bass did this in their Burton brewing facility, Although not to this scale.

20. #### Infrastructure

This is encouraging - but can't boffins come up with some way of transporting BEER over an internet connection? Not only would this solve the inter-plant transport issue (using VPN) but it would also enable us to buy our own BEER directly from the brewery, by adding a sparkler tap adapter to a spare router ethernet port.

This new technology would dispense (sic) with transporting "packets" over the network layer, and transport "bottles" instead - and there might be problems with compatibility between European brewery BEER streams (in litres) and UK router output, which would have to be in pints.

But these are just engineering problems - surely if we can build a Large Hadron Collider, an internet-based Beer Transport Protocol shouldn't be beyond us? We could call it BTP/IP ...

(Mine's not the one I'm nicking the wallet from in the icon...)

1. #### Re: Infrastructure

Not only would this solve the inter-plant transport issue (using VPN)

Is that a Virtual Pint Network?

1. #### Re: Infrastructure

There are protocol issues here.

You can't transmit Guinness as fast as say, the Fosters packets.

Would I need another plug-in for my browser to add blackcurrant or lime (or considering the space in lager packets) all the toppings can be sent at the same time and just filtered at the other end?

What protection will consumers have from a build-up of gasses caused by many bitters?

Will we suffer from having the sink-tap venting abut two hoours after the beer is poured?

Can micro-breweries be connected using wet-string?

I'm gettng thirsty - hurry up!

2. #### Re: Infrastructure

The problem here would be that end users would build a dodgy router that continually say the drop didn't arrive and could it be sent again...

3. #### Re: Infrastructure

I suspect some extension to RFC 1149 would allow beer to be transported, though you would probably need RFC 2549 for QoS to ensure the carriers were suitable for the packet size. I believe engineers at Monty Python have extensive experience in Cocos nucifera drupe loading of both African and European carriers that could be applied.

4. #### Next step

Single Malt Transfer Protocol.

21. #### Feasibility study

They looked at the UK and found many towns had a similar distribution system in place for the weak tasteless lagers that can be found in many of our public houses.Unfortunately they had simply mistaken the purpose of our sewers.

22. #### Imagine the possibilities...

An entire "EuroBeer"(tm) pipeline! Join it up with that German brewery already doing it and we've got the beginnings of true European unification. Finally, something everyone in Europe can agree on and rally around, BEER!

1. #### Chthonic!!

It's best to lay it along Ley Lines for maximum unification.

1. #### Re: Chthonic!!

But it tends to make divining rods droop and crystals go all blurry.

As for the fairies and Angels that use Ley Lines as air trafffic control . . .

2. #### Re: Chthonic!!

"It's best to lay it along Ley Lines for maximum unification."

No, no, no! The pipes must be layed under roads and motorways. Then we can reduce the specific gravity and all drive hover cars!

23. #### De Halve Maan brewery

Great brewery - they do a lovely tour and excellent beer.

Brought home as much as I could carry on my last trip to Bruges

1. #### Re: De Halve Maan brewery

Brought home as much as I could carry

Both externally and internally...

24. #### prior art!

http://brokensecrets.com/2012/04/26/there-is-a-beer-pipeline/

http://fall2012scmtransportationblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/beer-pipelines/

25. #### Starting new party...

EU Independence Party. We will start by hacking off a chunk of Kent, call it part of the EU, allowing people Human Rights and all the things the toryscum want rid of, separate from this racist, xenophobic, warmongering, foul, awful, overpriced shithole we call the "UK".

There will be beer.

26. #### We need a Pipetap act

to curb man-in-the-middle attacks

27. Call me cynical, but why do I get a sneaking suspicion the pipe is going to suffer from a substantial number of "accidental" breakages by workman who just happened to be digging up the road near by...

28. #### Obligatory

Guy's friends plumbed his house with beer as a prank:

29. #### I guess I'll unpack

Here I thought it was a new and progressive utility, not simply a way to get beer to the bottling plant.

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