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World's First Beer Pipeline Rewards Drinkers with Lifetime Supply of Free Beer

Not only is beer flowing in the many pubs and other watering holes across Bruges, Belgium, it's also literally flowing beneath the medieval city's streets in what's been dubbed as the world's first beer pipeline. And perhaps best of all, some residents and backers of the boozy infrastructure project are being rewarded with a lifetime supply of free beer. Really.

Following years of fundraising and development, De Halve Maan (The Half Moon) Brewery and public officials in the Belgian city officially opened the beer pipeline on Friday, according to a report by The New York Times. Spanning more than two miles in length, the pipeline allows the brewery to pump more than 1,000 gallons -- approximately 12,000 bottles -- of beer per hour to a bottling facility on the outskirts of Bruges, instead of putting large tanker trucks on the historic city's narrow cobblestone streets. As you can see in the Associated Press video above, fans can get a glimpse of the pipe through a clear manhole cover.

"We wanted to avoid running big expensive tanker trucks back and forth transporting our beer," Xavier Vanneste, the director of De Halve Maan, told the Times. "So we constructed a direct pipeline from the brewery to the bottle room."

All said, the sudsy pipeline cost about 4 million euros ( about $4.5 million) and was funded in part by more than 500 people who contributed to the brewery's online fundraising campaign. Those backers will receive a lifetime supply of free beer from De Halve Maan as a reward -- proportional to their donations, according to the report.

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

Now, that's an infrastructure project we can all raise a glass to. Cheers. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and wonders how long it'll take for someone to reroute the pipeline to their house. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.