The Beer Bike - Every stag groups favorite. Every city had one or more and once you discovered the fun, you would take every excuse of a get together to take another ride. But was this doomed from the start? Read on to find out why Manic tours feels this activity was never going to last, and why it's replacement just makes more sense!
I loved the beer bike! The perfect group, party activity. Your own bar stool, surrounded by your friends, cold beer on tap, served by a friendly bar girl (if you paid extra), your favorite tunes blasting out from blue tooth off your own playlist and sights of the city slowly rolling by, as you gently pedaled away. Sounds awesome right? And it was.
This perfect combination of beers with friends while sightseeing in a new city exploded across Europe. Every city added it as new tourist attraction. At its peak there was over 10 different suppliers in Budapest alone. You literally could not venture into a capital city in Europe at the weekend without seeing (and hearing) one of the rolling parties slowly pass you by.
This, “slow rolling by” and “hearing it” was why I and Manic tours feels the Beer Bike was doomed from the start. In Budapest it is gone. There is one supplier trying to keep it a live, but pedaling around an area of the city full of homeless, rubbish and worse is not really the same.
Some cities are still hanging in there. Prague and Amsterdam still offer beer bikes in the main sightseeing areas, but every increasing restrictions like those enforced in Budapest mean the end is in sight.
So why was it doomed. Well think about the slow rolling along. You have a vehicle about the size of a minibus that even with 15 lads pedaling as fast as they can does not go much faster than walking pace in the middle of the road, in the center of a capital city. The result, even more traffic jams. Have 10 or more Beer bikes in the same area at the same time, and weekend traffic was brought to a crawl. City councils just cannot allow that much disruption and changes were inevitable.
Budapest tried to move the bikes to the side streets, which worked for a couple years, but with more and more bikes and they still wandering into traffic, even this was stopped. Lastly they tried to move them to pedestrian areas in the city park. Again it worked for a while, but then the other problem became the end.
Hearing and seeing the Beer bikes. Now to the group on the bike, it is like their own moving party! Beer flowing, loud music all is great. However, as the groups get even more drunk, they get louder, the music gets louder and anyone within 50 meters knows about it.
Beer throwing, abusive shouting and worse, as you can imagine this was not very popular with other tourists and especially offensive to the locals.
What may have been the final straw that gave Beer Bikes their death notice was accidents. as the beer bike guests worked their way through the beer supplies, lets say their judgement was a little impaired. They would forget that their rolling party was in the middle of the road, and jump off….into traffic. The result, again inevitable.
If you summarize the above and look at the Beer Bike as councils and authorities did, you can see why we at Manic Tours felt the Beer bike was doomed from the start.
That was the end of the beer bike as we knew it in Budapest and we are sure the same will happen in all major cities.
Fear not, this is not the end of the party. Oh no! In fact we think what comes next makes so much sense, it should be around for a long time, The BEER BUS!
With Beer Bikes all but banned, there was many small businesses now doomed if they did not evolve. Their answer was the Beer Bus. It is a natural evolution if you give it some thought. The Bike suppliers took the issues that doomed it and and solved them.
And maybe best of all. The customers are not having to pedal it!
We believe the Beer Bus is not only a forced evolution of the Beer Bike, but a vast improvement that should see the activity spread across Europe and also last a long time. Why shouldn't it? I mean it has all the great ingredients of the original without the downsides.
For sure this will become a stag party favorite, so we also recommend booking it early to avoid disappointment!
RIP Beer Bike, Long Live the Beer Bus!