Belgian Town Builds Underground Beer Pipeline

July 4, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. medieval /ˌmi diˈi vəl/ (adj.) – describing the European period set from about A.D. 500 to about 1500
Example: The city still keeps its medieval buildings.

2. bottleneck /ˈbɒt lˌnɛk/ (n.) – something that slows down a process
Example: The delay in the production is a bottleneck to reaching the target delivery date.

3. pitch /pɪtʃ/ (v.) – to say something that will convince someone to accept an idea or offer
Example: The company pitches the new product as something that makes a family stronger.

4. correspond /ˌkɔr əˈspɒnd/ (v.) – to be equal to something
Example: The number of products a customer buys corresponds to the number of his/her promo entries.

5. utility /yuˈtɪl ɪ ti/ (n.) – a service provided to people living in a community (e.g., electricity and water supplies)
Example: A new utility company will start providing water and electricity services next week.


Read the text below.
One of Belgium’s preserved medieval towns, Bruges, [BROOZH] will soon be having an underground beer pipeline.

De Halve Maan Brewery, the last remaining brewing company in Bruges, Belgium, set a record by laying a two-mile beer pipeline underground. This pipeline, which is expected to be completed a few weeks from now, will pump about 1500 gallons of beer an hour at 12 mph.

The initiative came after De Halve Maan’s heir Xavier Vanneste [ZEY-vee-er VUH-nest] decided to discontinue transporting beer products via tankers. Beer used to be transported by tankers from the brewery in the town’s center to its new bottling plant outside of town. Since Bruges has narrow roads still in cobblestone, using huge tankers for pickup and delivery was one of the company’s major bottlenecks.

To start building the pipeline, De Halve Maan pitched it as a social project and launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise around $4.5 million. The company set the funding into three levels—gold, silver, and bronze—which correspond to certain amounts of beer to be given free for life. Poules Moules Restaurant’s owner Philippe Le Loup contributed $11,500, placing him under a gold membership. Because of this, he will be getting a 330-ml bottle of Brugse Zot [BRIG-se zot] Blond every day for the rest of his life, together with 18 personalized glasses.

Xavier Vanneste, insistent to keep the old brewing facility in Bruges, realized that creating pipelines underground would be the best solution when he saw workers building underground utility cables in front of his house.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think building an underground pipeline is a good idea for transporting beer? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the disadvantages of the underground beer pipeline?

Discussion B

·         Do you think a company should ask for the public’s help when doing large projects? Why or why not?
·         In your country, what help can people extend to businesses undertaking large projects?

July 4, 2016