Taking the Barroom on the Road

Taking the Barroom on the Road

Amsterdam is known for its libertarian ways, with its legalized pot and other well-documented vices, but another of the city's gestures of tolerance for human foibles has run into some obstacles — literally.

“Beer bikes,” huge rolling contraptions powered by up to 22 people sitting around a rectangular center bar, take groups on tours of the city's streets lasting several hours. The bikes, literally rolling bars, typically stock almost eight gallons of beer for each trip (you do the math), with the suds dispensed by a bartender from taps. Some beer bikes even have karaoke, and you can just imagine how much passing pedestrians and motorists must enjoy that!

Anyway, one “designated driver” is supposed to steer and brake while everyone else pedals to keep the vehicle moving (helps burn off those beer-induced calories).

Unfortunately, a couple of collisions over the summer have prompted closer scrutiny from city administrators. While the bikes are too popular with dipsomanic tourists to shut down, the incidents will probably result in restrictions on hours and areas of operation and may even require that at least the driver be sober.

What an un-Amsterdam thing THAT would be…