Even though pedal taverns — bikes built to shuttle groups on pub crawls — look like bars on wheels, in most states it’s illegal to have alcohol on board these increasingly popular vehicles.
Pedal pubs in Boulder, Colo., and San Diego, Calif., prohibit drinking on them, while one in Seattle, Wash., only allows it if the group obtains a banquet permit from the Washington Liquor Control board.
But as of Jan. 1, a new law took effect in Milwaukee, Wisc., that adds commercial quadricycles to the list of public places where people can consume alcohol, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Each person can have 36 ounces of a fermented malt beverage, but not hard liquor, during the ride from bar to bar. While every rider can pedal the bike, two sober employees steer and break.
In states like Wisconsin, where beer is such a big part of the culture, Milwaukee’s Pedal Tavern founders Derek Collins and Ryan Lloyd argued allowing customers to bring beer on board would increase tourism.
“When people come for the tour, they often come up from other cities or states and do dinner and drinks as well,” Collins told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Pedal taverns already draw huge tourist crowds in Nashville and Houston, where riders can bring their own beer as long as it’s not in a glass container. There are also pedal pubs in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., that allows wine in boxes or plastic bottles.
As the state by state debate continues over how to licence and permit pedal taverns, public officials in Wisconsin have warned it’s not all fun and games. The bikes have received noise complaints and concern about public safety.
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