There’s an unusual sight now on some streets in Alberta’s largest city.
“We got a 15-person pedal-powered patio,” explained entrepreneur David Skabar with Pedal Pub Calgary.
Up to 15 people at a time can hop on the large-scale bikes, with the added twist that those who are providing the pedal power are allowed to drink alcohol while on board.
“It’s the first of its kind in all of Canada.”
The pedal pub is just another example in the changes that have been made to liquor consumption rules in the province since the end of prohibition nearly 100 years ago in 1924.
University of Alberta modern languages and cultural studies professor William Anselmi says when it comes to public drinking attitudes in North America, the rules are historically rooted in the mindsets of the first settlers.
“They brought with them all kinds of repressive states, which were mainly religious,” Anselmi explained.
The mindset, for some however, appears ready for change.
“I’m all for it,” said Darren Campbell, speaking to Global News while walking down Whyte Avenue in Edmonton.
“I think it can go either way,” said Karen Dotto, adding: “I think it’s a good idea, as long as there’s some limits.”
In Calgary, a pilot planned for this summer to test public drinking at picnic sites has been shelved until 2020.
However, many municipal councils will watch closely to see how the experiment will unfold.
“I think we have somewhat silly rules that have been put in place over time that have more to do with the vestiges of prohibition than anything else,” Edmonton city councillor Ben Henderson said.
Meantime, the pedal pub continues makes the rounds in Calgary, where Skabar stresses that “fundamentally, it’s safety first.”