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Swedish students stage beer pipeline protest at nearby brewery

David Landes · 20 Jan 2010, 14:36

Published: 20 Jan 2010 14:36 GMT+01:00

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“Hopefully we’ll get a pipeline relatively soon,” student union chair Alexander Westerling told the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper ahead of his negotiations with the brewery.

Westerling was joined by roughly 50 other students from Chalmers University of Technology who marched into the Carlsberg Brewery in Falkenberg, south of Gothenburg.

The demonstration was part of a tradition started in 1959 when the Chalmers University student union purchased one share in what was then known as Pripp & Lyckholm, part of the company which operated the brewery until it was purchased by Carlsberg in 2000.

The stock purchase gave the students a seat at the company's annual shareholders meeting, allowing them an opportunity to push the brewery to build a roughly 100 kilometre long pipeline to the university in order to facilitate the supply of beer to the Chalmers’ student union.

But progress on building the pipeline has been slow over the last five decades. So far, only two metres of pipe have been laid – one near the university, and one near a now abandoned brewery in central Gothenburg. No further construction has taken place since 1968.

Undeterred, the students returned to the brewery on Tuesday to renew their demands after a ten year break from pushing the issue.

Among the protesters were members of the somewhat less-than-serious Alliance Orchestra of Gothenburg (Allianceorchestret) and the Chalmersbaletten, a mock-ballet company of students known for performing tongue-in-cheek cabaret and variety shows, much to the delight of brewery staff.

“I’ve been around for a lot of these occupations, but never for one as entertaining as this,” said the head of Carlsberg Sverige, Otto Drakenberg, to GP.

And not long after the students’ occupation of the brewery began, news emerged of a breakthrough in negotiations.

“We’ve listened and accepted their demand. We’ll soon start construction on one metre of pipeline,” Carlsberg spokesperson Göran Orre told the newspaper with a smile.

Story continues below…

Orre added that the brewery valued its relationship with Chalmers students, despite their demands.

“There’s a long tradition between Chalmers and first Pripps and now Carlsberg which I think is worth preserving. At the same time they are a big customer for us and it’s important to have good relations,” he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:37 January 20, 2010 by zircon
One Word: Skol!
15:46 January 20, 2010 by Nemesis
Sol, Cheers, etc.
16:53 January 20, 2010 by Beynch
TL, by running this story, is losing credibiity. Stick to real politics and real news, not infantile student antics. Arrest every last occupying student and let them eat crow. In jail!
16:59 January 20, 2010 by Åskar
Beynch, I really think you should look up these words in a dictionary: "fun", "humour", "tongue-in-cheek", "bore".
17:04 January 20, 2010 by calebian22
Beer in a pipeline=flat beer.
20:48 January 20, 2010 by jack sprat
Also bad beer.

Cant believe the're serious.

1OO km pipeline for beer?

Probably be bad by it gets to the other end.

Its not always easy keeping a few meters of beer pipe in a clean hygenic condition in a pub,... but 100 km,...I don't think.
20:51 January 20, 2010 by wxman
Agree with the above posters regarding freshness, cleanliness and carbonation retention, but let's face it. These are not the concerns of 19 year old college students. I'm sure this seemed like a good idea to them.
21:39 January 20, 2010 by jose_s
when it's ready i will be there at the first meter with a my power drill and a ice cold glass...
22:21 January 20, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Poor sad Beynch. The beer pipe is a 50 year old running joke organised by generations of over-refreshed technical students at the outlet, and encouraged by the brewery at the other end. The beer pipe they demand used to be about 5 km's long, but the local brewery moved away and the thirsty students now need an extra 95km's. Those of you worried about the technical aspects, relax. If the students ever get their beer pipe, some of the finest young minds in Sweden will get to work on how to keep beer fresh and sparkling for longer, and the world will be a better place. They've got 2 meters in 50 years, and only need another 99.998 km's. Can anyone tell me how long it will take them to finish it at the current speed?
22:30 January 20, 2010 by Da Goat
The pipeline will be all good as long as they keep the beer flowing!

trouble is too many people like Jose_s with diggers along the way, the beer would never get to the far end. ROFL

great idea though, keep it up college students!
22:46 January 20, 2010 by Irishmanabroad
I miss Chalmers so much. This is one thing I love about Swedes. Sometimes they suprise you with their ability to not take themselves so seriously...and do it with a straight face.

I'll never forget the first time I saw the Alliance Orchestra. I thought "hey, this is a good way to welcome the iinternational students. I wonder who they role out for the big wigs." Low and behold, the same band. Fantastic!
05:31 January 21, 2010 by swede7814
haha!! This story is ridiculous! I love it though!
07:40 January 21, 2010 by Frobobbles
No, this story is not only a joke. The idea of a pipeline was based upon reality. The Institute of Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, which carried much of the development of quantum phsyics in 1920s and 1930s, was largely supported by the Carlsberg brewery both financially and beer-wise. The beer was indeed supplied to the scientist by a direct tap, as they were given a mansion directly beside the brewery. This is also rumored to be the origin of Niels Bohrs unintelligible mumbled speech.

If Carlsberg could do this in Copenhagen in the 30s, the idea that they would be nice enough to do the same in Gothenburg in the 50s was not at all outlandish.
20:28 January 21, 2010 by square
Make sure there's no kinks in the lines boys. Love your spirit.
10:32 January 23, 2010 by Iraniboy

You need help! I hope at least you're not living in Gothenburg cause you're a fanatic who only look for aggressive and sometimes violent methods for those whom you dislike.
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