The medieval town of Bruges is a UNESCO Heritage site, which among other things means that it is "an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history." It also means you can't mess around with the views; to keep its status, the whole site must be intact. So if you have been brewing beer since at least 1564 and want to expand your operations, it can be a problem.
In 2010, Brouwerij De Halve Maan built a new bottling plant outside the historic site, 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) away. They have been running tanker trucks between the historic brewery and the plant, which isn't exactly what they had running down the roads in the sixteenth century.
Now they have gained approval to build a beer pipeline between the brewery and the bottling plant. According to Wired, this has real environmental benefits, taking 500 truck journeys off the road every year.
"In time, this innovative investment plan would reduce the amount of transport by heavy goods vehicles by 85 percent,” says Franky Dumon, the alderman for spatial planning who approved the project on behalf of the city council. “It is a win-win situation for everyone.
Indeed, it is also a win for the heritage advocates among us, who might see it as a way of mixing old buildings and technologies with the new. The old brewery gets connected to the new bottling plant and everybody is happy.