Brew bike to bolster beer buff’s craft brewery experience in London

There will be a new way to travel between London’s craft breweries come April, when a flashy giant beer bike hits the streets of Old East Village. It will be able to accommodate 16 beer enthusiasts at a time.

The PedalPub is being brought into the city by Brad Oke, who owns Smackwater Jack’s in Grand Bend. He acted as the driver Tuesday, taking Tourism London board members on a test ride on the streets near Anderson Craft Ales brewery; 10 of them had to pedal while five got to kick back and relax.

The unique transit vehicle isn’t licensed for drinking while on the road, but it’ll make stops at local breweries including Anderson’s, the London Brewing Co-Op, and the-soon-to-open Powerhouse where passengers will taste different local brews.

“It’s such a close proximity to each other, as a matter of fact, I’m going to have to do some detours to get some of the distance in the driving,” laughed Oke. There’s a mere block between Anderson’s and the London Brewing Co-Op, while Powerhouse is taking up in the redevelopment of the Kellogs factory.

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The rig arrived in London on Sunday from Minnesota, said Oke, but there’ll be a second one in town by the time the tours are launched. Manufactured in the Netherlands, the base retail price of each one is set at US$37,400.

“[This one] has all the bells and whistles,” explained Shane Dunn, the executive vice-president of business development and a partner with PedalPub National.

“When you realize the craftsmanship behind it, the engineering that went into it, and how long they last — it’s well worth the investment,” he explained.

Tourism London general manager John Winston says London is going to be a “test bed” for the experience in Ontario.

“It fits because we really are developing a craft brewery industry in this city … you’re seeing a critical mass of craft breweries and this particular vehicle can be utilized as an opportunity to do tastings, as well as experience this industry in our area.”

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And of course, the breweries themselves are excited about the opportunity too.

“There’s a spirit in London of interest in creative development and business, and this is a creative way to interact with three very innovative businesses and possibly more,” said London Brewing Co-op worker/owner Jeff Pastorius.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the tour and excited to encourage the spirit of cycling in London.”

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