You can say goodbye to trudging across pockmarked parking lots during your Riverhead craft brewery tour — there’s a new ride coming to town.
Two 14-person pedal-powered bicycles are rolling in and will shuttle patrons among downtown’s three breweries starting April 18.
“It looks like a picnic table,” said Vicki Clacherty, the marketing director of the new company, Brew Crew Cycles. “There are little seats on each side and you face each other as you pedal.”
The business is owned by the women of the Marangas family of the North Fork with matriarch Catherine Marangas of Mattituck serving as chairperson. Clacherty said it was her aunt, Cathy Wilinski of Southold, who had pushed the group to come together and start a business.
“She wanted us to put together all our brain power and come up with a business idea,” Clacherty said. “This was the most feasible and the most fun to start.”
The bikes were made by Dublin, North Carolina-based Taylor Manufacturing, which owns Lu Mil Vineyards, where patrons can take a tour on a similar bike. It is expected to be transported to New York by early April.
Once in action, tours will likely run several times a day on Saturdays and Sundays and will likely expand to Fridays in the summer. Patrons can either rent an entire bike for two hours for $375 or rent a seat for $30.
But don’t expect to race the Tour De France with this contraption. The bike tops out at 6 mph.
“It’s a comfortable speed,” Clacherty said.
The bikes will travel in the roads and be steered by drivers. Customers should note open containers are not allowed in transit.
The vehicles are subject to bicycle laws, rather than motor vehicle regulations.
“It’s an interesting idea and we look forward to seeing it,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said.
“It will be a fun new thing for the beer community in Riverhead,” said Moustache co-founder Lauri Spitz. “It’s just something different than going on the bus tours. It’s more interactive.”
She noted that while many people do walk from brewery to brewery, this will make touring the downtown beer scene easier and provide additional exposure for the businesses.
“We can’t wait to go on a test ride,” Spitz said.
Popular in tourist towns like Savannah, Ga. and Asheville, N.C., the first company to offer similar tours — the Wine Wagon, which offers vineyard tours — launched last year.
Visit Brew Crew Cycles on the web at brewcrewcycles.com.