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Sunday, July 10, 2016

The two mile pipeline that could set a trend

We have been arguing for years that power cables need to be undergrounded in rural areas and in areas of outstanding natural beauty so as to preserve our natural heritage. Each time though the developer says it is too difficult or too expensive.

Well, now that a two mile long pipeline has been laid to pump beer beneath the cobbled, historic streets of Bruges they will no longer have that excuse. What is good enough for Bruges is good enough for Powys, though power lines do not have the same allure as a specialist Belgian beer with a 450 year tradition behind it.

The Guardian tells us that if all goes to plan, enough beer to fill 12,000 bottles an hour will slosh down the two-mile underground pipeline from De Halve Maan (Half Moon) in the city centre to an out-of-town bottling plant. That is some pipe-dream.

Cue beer drinkers everywhere plotting how they can tap into the pipe. They could even make a film of it - The Great Belgium Beer Heist - "Hang on, lads; I've got a great idea" (Google it if you don't get the reference).

Seriously though,  the good burghers of Bruges have led the way in showing that just because a City, its cobbled lanes and renowned medieval buildings are on the Unesco world heritage list, does not mean that it has to be preserved in aspic.

Normal life can continue without disrupting Bruge's heritage and traditional industries can remain within the boundaries despite the fact that the beer is no longer brewed in two-metre deep open vats that have to be scrubbed out with hand cloths and brooms and delivered to people's homes in a horse and cart.

Moreover, the project has meant that beer tankers are no longer struggling to turn around on narrow lanes. The fabric of this great City is more secure.

All us Brits need to know now, especially in the light of Brexit, are the words of Charlie Croker: "Just remember this - in this country they drive on the wrong side of the road."
The beer pipe-line will have to be used on a batch like process. Can't have continuous bear down the pipeline; think of the biofilm that can't be cleaned off unless cleaning runs are doe between batch use, which means the pipeline will use up a LOT of water. Sorry, but its a dumb idea on hygiene grounds. Electrical cable - no such problemmo!

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