Capitol Alert

Bill would let suds flow on California bike buses

Sac Brew Bike tours Sacramento bars

A new California bill could allow brew bikes serve beer while they travel from bar to bar. The bill would set uniform standards for cities that want to allow the "road beers."
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A new California bill could allow brew bikes serve beer while they travel from bar to bar. The bill would set uniform standards for cities that want to allow the "road beers."

A “brew bike” can lead you to beer, but – at least while you’re on board – it won’t let you drink.

If you’ve hung out in midtown Sacramento on a warm day, you’ve no doubt heard the swelling chorus of “woos” and then watched as people peddle one of the 15-seat vehicles down the street. Riders may sound full of liquid enthusiasm, but make no mistake – road beers are strictly prohibited.

“Regrettably, California State Laws currently prevent consumption while on the bike bus,” laments the website of Off the Chain Bike Bus Tours.

That could change under Senate Bill 530, which cleared its first committee on a 10-1 vote. The legislation from Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, would allow riders to crack open a cold one if their city permits it, a safety monitor comes along for the ride and the driver gets some alcohol-related training.

“If cities are going to allow it we need to be sure the roads are going to be safe,” Pan said, adding that the option could appeal to Sacramento. “That’s something we want to consider in terms of our Farm to Fork initiative.”

Customers have expressed an interest in imbibing while aboard, Sac Brew Bike manager Matt See said. He envisions letting them sample local microbrews while en route to local brewpubs. In moderation, of course.

“It’s not going to be bringing 30-packs and roaming the streets,” See said.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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