Beer Bikes Get The Boot From Amsterdam

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Bikes are hugely popular in Amsterdam. Except for the ones that aren’t.

After years of complaints from local residents, Amsterdam has banned “beer bikes” from the streets.

Also known in other ‘party’ cities like Nashville and Budapest as ‘pedal taverns’ or ‘party wagons,’ these are 12-seat, pedal-powered mobile bars that slowly travel through tourist districts while occupants sip (or guzzle) alcoholic beverages.

A fun time is had by most, but Amsterdam locals say beer bikes sometimes trundle past with the riders drunk, shouting and urinating, sometimes all at once.

Following years of complaints, a court has agreed the mobile bars block traffic and disrupt public order. They have been banned from the inner city from now on.

“The ban is justified because of the combination of traffic congestion, disorderly behaviour and crowded city centre,” the court said.

Last year, 6000 locals signed a petition calling for the “terrible phenomenon” to be banned. Four beer bike operators fought back valiantly, arguing the proposed ban was “imposing on people’s freedom.”

Here’s a quick sampling of social media comments on the ban: 

  • “A beer bike!! I only find out now and they’re getting rid of them? Nooooo!!!”
  • “Ha ha ha. We hired one of these on my stag do… It was an absolute riot!”
  • “It’s a city of bikes and bike riders. Maybe it’s the cars causing the congestion…?”
  • “Will they be replaced with pot-bikes next? at least the riders will be more subdued and quieter.”
  • “I wonder if they will give them away. I’m prepared to pay the shipping cost for one. Who else wants in?”
  • “The only bikes we hated in our delightful three-month Amsterdam stay. Idiot drunks which reminded us of back home in Sydney.”

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