If you've been living in the Sacramento area for the last few years, you've undoubtedly passed by a brew bike. You may have even cursed at it a few times while trying to drive home from a long day at the office. Or maybe that's just me.
A brew bike is basically a horseshoe shaped bar on wheels with peddles (for peddlers) on the two long sides and a princess seat in the back (where you can just sit back, relax and not pedal). The brew bike can take you and fourteen of your closest friends around to thee bars around town for a fun evening that doubles as a workout. In fact, I'm not sure I'd ever worked so hard for a beer in my life.
While I didn't do the actual booking for this trip, I did learn that it's easy to do. The website has the different tour options: you can choose if you want a two-hour tour, two and half hour tour or a three-hour tour. The second thing you want to decide is whether or not you want to pay a little extra money to bring beer on the bike. We did and it was great. With a cooler full of beer and water, we were able to hydrate (or dehydrate) between stops.
So what does a brew bike tour even look like? Well the week before your scheduled departure, Sac Brew Bike will call you and ask you which bars you want to visit. Their partner bars/bars you can elect to go to is available on their website, complete with a brief description. And if you are having trouble deciding where you want to go, have no fear, they will make recommendations and you can finalize your itinerary together. We rode to Karma Brew, Big Stump Brew Company and Tank House.
Here are a few other things you'll want to know before taking your first ride:
It's surprisingly challenging to peddle the bike. I alluded to this earlier and I can't underscore enough how difficult that first leg of the trip is. Sure, everyone is excited and enthusiastic, but you aren't quite sure yet how much power you need to get everyone moving. And almost half of the people you are propelling forward aren't contributing to the effort. So anyone else who decides to not help out as much, will mean you have to work that much harder.
It gets easier. After you've had a beer - and a better idea of the work involved in moving the bike - it's much better and become enjoyable and fun to chat and sing.
You can bring your tunes. Identify the person in the group with the best music selection and have them work with the driver to hook up their iPhone or iPod to the bike’s PA system, then bust out crowd favorites like Britney, Bon Jovi and Beyoncé. And probably some other artists whose names don't begin with the letter B. The bike becomes a glorified karaoke bar, but way better because you are surrounded by people you like and you don't have to wait until you are called up to perform. You control the music, and don't have to put up with the random songs you care nothing about. Bonus: Passersby will laugh and be generally happy to see you sing your hearts out. And the staff might join in too.
Five minute warning. Brew bike staff will tell you how long you have at a location and give you a five minute warning before leaving your destination. Don't worry, you can focus on having fun, not looking at the clock to figure out when you need to leave.
Keep it legal. Legislation was recently enacted to allow passengers to drink while on the bike. However, you have to make sure you have both feet off the ground. Drinking your beer just off the beer bike can be grounds for a ticket for you and everyone around you. Your friends can pass beer to you, but the staff can't. Beers on the bike are limited to two per person and less than 7% alcohol each and you are only allowed to do this if you book the whole bike.
End your night with food. You will definitely want to end your evening at a place that has some good food options for you. We ended our evening at Tank House and by that point, folks were ready for tater tots and BBQ.
Rent the whole bike. If you can, make sure you aren’t sharing the bike with another group. Sure, you can and meet some nice people. But why risk it? You'll feel more comfortable being yourself, imbibing and playing your own music if you are with friends. Or friends of friends at the very least.
Frankly, I wasn't expecting to have as much fun as I did. I tried new bars that I'd been meaning to visit. I got to see the streets I walk down every day from a new perspective. And I could really just be in the moment and enjoy the time with my friends without worrying about where I needed to go.