Pedaling a bar down College Avenue? It’s possible

Madison’s Capitol Pedaler travels down State Street.

Grab some beer, hop on the 12-person “Bier Bike” and enjoy the downtown scenery.

That could be the reality under a new state law signed by Gov. Scott Walker in December making “quadricycles” or “pedal pubs” a legal place to consume alcohol.

Appleton officials are taking up the issue this week on whether to allow the wheeled entertainment vehicles, or apply stricter rules to the state statute.

Under the state guidelines, passengers can drink 36-ounces of beer only and can only operate until 10:30 p.m. The giant trollies have a driver that is prohibited from drinking and handles the steering of the machine.

Versions of the bikes are popular in Berlin, Germany, and have been embraced in Madison, where the Capitol Pedaler operates, and in Milwaukee with its Pedal Tavern.

Appleton police have not weighed in on the rules, but say they’d like to generate a discussion about the topic.

Jennifer Stephany, executive director of Appleton Downtown Inc. called the idea “intriguing,” but said no businesses have come forward with a business plan to operate in Appleton.

“In concept it definitely plays into the creative placemaking initiatives that we’re continually striving for downtown,” Stephany said. “I’d want to have a conversation with our members regarding their feelings and maybe some of them are interested. We’re open to the discussion.”

That discussion will happen at the city’s Safety and Licensing Committee, 5 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or npenzenstadler@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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