Bicycle builders combine a bike and a beer bar - what's not to like?


December 20, 2010

The Beer Bike is a custom-built cargo bicycle that features two beer kegs, a wooden bar with two serving taps, space for pizza boxes, and a solar-powered boom box

The Beer Bike is a custom-built cargo bicycle that features two beer kegs, a wooden bar with two serving taps, space for pizza boxes, and a solar-powered boom box

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Handbuilt bicycles, draught beer, pizza and music – chances are that almost everyone has a passion for at least one of these things. Now, Portland, Oregon-based Metrofiets Cargo Bikes has combined all four in an ingenious little vehicle unofficially known as the Beer Bike. The custom-built bicycle, inspired by Dutch cargo bikes, has space for two full-sized pressurized beer kegs, and features 50 feet (15 meters) of cooling coils per keg, an ice tray, an inlaid wooden bar with two beer taps, a rear rack designed for carrying pizza boxes, and a solar-powered custom wooden boom box that mounts like a pannier.

Metrofiets owners Phillip Ross and Jamie Nichols first pitched the idea for a Beer Bike to Christian Ettinger, owner of Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewing. Being a bicycle enthusiast himself, Ettinger readily accepted, and the bike now travels to local stores and events to promote his libations. Clients will also hire Ettinger to bring his Beer Bike to their events, to supply their guests will booze and pizza.

“Jamie and I, we’re home brewers ourselves, and we were like, ‘You know what the world needs, is a bike that can carry two kegs of beer, how crazy would that be?’” Ross told Gizmag. “We started working on it, and we said ‘Well actually, I think we could do that, that’s wild. Oh and look, now we can carry some more, so let’s put a stereo on it, and hey, how about a wooden bar?’ Then when we met with Christian, the collaboration just continued.”

The Beer Bike took them six months to build, and ended up costing Ettinger US$13,000 – according to Ross, it made that amount back in less than a month, via free advertising for Hopworks. Local people and businesses pitched in to create the sound system, beer plumbing, heavy-duty wheels, and the wooden bar top and boom box shell. The bicycle parts (including the taps, which are made from wheel hubs) were donated by Shimano and Chris King components.

The frame was constructed from aircraft grade 4130 steel. “It was quite a challenge to build a frame that could handle the weight of two full kegs and rider, and still be ridden around town,” Ross told us.

Without kegs, the bicycle weighs about 120 pounds (55 kg). Although the vehicle has a 400-pound (181-kg) cargo capacity, Ross confirmed that it is indeed quite a challenge to pedal uphill with two full kegs – he recommends traveling with smaller pony kegs, and swapping in full-sized ones at the destination. As long as the kegs stay untapped while on the road, he claims that the police don’t have a problem with the Beer Bike... and as long as the kegs are kept cold, the bouncy bike trip shouldn’t cause the beer to foam up.

Ross and Nichols are currently building additional Beer Bikes for Metrofiets’ own use. There’s no word on whether or not they plan to race them against one another, but it would be pretty awesome if they did.

Via and InventorSpot.

Photos courtesy Metrofiets/Curtis "Corky" Miller

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Not a bad idea but if you really wanted to ride it, they should have made a type of tricycle. There is no way that bike can be easily pedaled or steered with the weight of two kegs upfront.

Jason Correia

I Agree, Jason. Pedaling AND keeping it upright could perhaps be quite a challenge, especially if the cyclist samples the wares from time to time.

Bruce Williams

As a Portland resident, this doesn\'t surprise me. My only surprise is that the bike doesn\'t include elecric assist for hills.

Charles Bosse

this bike has future in New Orleans. Fresh draft delivered to your door.

Facebook User

Ummmm all the above - the weight or mass or center of gravity is down quite low, and the real difference between pedaling your own mass on the bike and a bike that has the mass of two large kegs it\'s self, is that you lean and steer the bike around, with more or less equal focus on your own mass and the bikes mass......

Generally speaking - it\'s just riding a bike, except when you need to flick it to a new change of direction - then it feels like along wheelbase Harley chopper, compared to a 250cc racing two stroke motorbike.

BUT the increased mass of the bike, makes a real difference going up the hill, and going down the hill.....

Mr Stiffy

So lame, theres a much better beer bike in germany and it\'s pretty damn old and can ride 16 people at once!

Facebook User

And once you get really messed up with drinking so much... you can take your brain damaged friends off to the Alcoholics Anonymous cult - for more brain washing there.

Mr Stiffy

checkout the mobile bar on the Hawera Pushbike Pub Crawl on Facebook and YouTube - as well as a seat at the bar everyone has a set of pedals too!!

Facebook User
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