Most people in the Twin Cities have seen the Pedal Pub, a mobile bar-on-wheels, where 16 people sit and pedal (while drinking) their way to different bars around the Twin Cities. You’ve either had one of two thoughts: Wow! This looks so fun! Or: Exercising while drinking? No thank you.
Regardless of your thought process, there’s no doubt that the Pedal Pub has created a community-driven experience that promotes socialization in a unique way, creating an opportunity to tour the Twin Cities and grab a drink with friends, all at the same time.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Pedal Pub, which was sold in 2017 to Proprietors Capital Holdings, a franchise that has expanded from the Twin Cities to 60 other locations across the US and has served 2.5 million riders in its history. Across the country, the Pedal Pub provides 250,000 tours and welcomes 500,000 guests each year.
To really understand what keeps the Pedal Pub wheels spinning, we need to take it all the way back to the Netherlands in 1996, where two brothers, Zwier and Henk Van Laar developed the world’s first party bike.
“These brothers met at a local pub and they made a bet that they would be able to make a pub that would move on wheels,” said Gracie Lissick, Pedal Pub’s Public Relations and Marketing Manager. She said that the brothers got started right at the bar, designing the first ever party bike on a bar napkin.
Then, Minnesotan entrepreneurs Al Boyce and Eric Olson decided to bring the first party bike to the United States in 2006, and Pedal Pub officially began its operations in Minneapolis in 2007. The rest is history.
Each party bike can hold up to 16 passengers, and there are only 10 seats that require pedaling. Sierra Lindemann, who does PR and marketing with Pedal Pub, said that the additional non-pedaling seats are great for those who just want to sit and enjoy the ride, or for guests who have an injury that inhibits them from pedaling.
“It’s definitely accommodating to all kinds of people,” LIndemann said.
The Pedal Pub has a BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) policy, and the company provides coolers and ice for the duration of your ride. Hard liquor is prohibited. Along the route, the Pedal Pub stops at two or three different bars. Tours are customizable depending on what bars you want to hit, and how long you want your ride to be.
Pedal Pub also partners with local bars to bring customers in. This year, they have partnered with the Pourhouse in Minneapolis, as well as Ties Lounge & Rooftop.
“If you and your friends would call, we’d have recommendations on what bars we can stop at based off of what flavors you like, and we can show you guys the city as well,” said Julian Wagner, the Pedal Pub’s marketing director.
Whether you’re a tourist or a local looking to see the city from a new vantage point, the pedal pub tours offer q special experience. It’s also a great opportunity for people unfamiliar with the Minneapolis bar scene.
“It’s a really neat way to really tour the Twin Cities and have everyone understand what our community means and really get that flavor of the Twin Cities,” said Lissick.
“We always recommend to tourists that come from out of town that one of the best ways to enjoy a beverage with friends and view the city is the Pedal Pub,” Wagner added.
The Pedal Pub emphasizes the importance of being community oriented, providing an experience that gets people out into the Twin Cities. It’s a unique way to socialize, and is popular among bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate gatherings, and birthdays.
Over the past 15 years, as the franchise grew, the company has increased their philanthropic efforts and city cleaning efforts. As a way to give back to the community, the Pedal Pub team will take their party bikes out to pick up trash throughout the city.
“We all have our bags and our gloves and our vest on and go around and pick up trash,” said Lindemann. Last week, she, LIssick and Wagner were part of a team that pedaled over to North Loop to pick up trash. “We met a lot of people who were really impressed by what we were doing and said they would be interested in doing something like that themselves.” On that same eco-friendly note, the zero-emission party bikes are 100 percent powered by pedaling.
To book your Pedal Pub adventure, check out their website.