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Duesseldorf court puts brakes on 'BierBike'

A court in Duesseldorf has put the kibosh on a multi-wheeled, multi-pedal bike equipped with a beer tap and bar. But operators of the Cologne-based BierBike say the party must go on.

BierBike in action

The rolling party bar could come to a halt in some cities

BierBikes have become a familiar - and frequently funny - sight in nearly 40 cities across Germany. But a local judge in Duesseldorf wasn't laughing on Thursday when he stepped on the brakes and banned the cycles. The decision could set a precedent in the country.

The BierBike is a four-wheeled vehicle with 12 pedalling positions. It is equipped with a beer tap and bar and accommodates up to 16 people, including the bartender and the driver.

Rolling party

The bar-on-wheels, which travels at about six kilometers per hour, costs about 120 euros an hour to rent. The price - without drinks - varies according to the total rental time. Alcohol consumption is limited to 10 liters per hour for a group of up to 16 people.

BierBike on road

The bar-on-wheels has become a tourist attraction in many cities

The rolling party bars had become an issue in Duesseldorf, which viewed them, among other things, as a road obstacle and a safety risk. The local court ruled in the city's favor. Under the ruling, the bikes can only roll with a special permit, which the the city doesn't intend to grant.

BierBike owners plan to challenge the ruling. They argue that the bikes are safe, are in no one's way and, most importantly, have become a tourist attraction.

"We have a codex that outlines exactly what guests can and cannot do on the bike," said Ingo Boell, BierBike's managing director, in a statement. "The driver, who is provided by the renter of the bike, is always sober."

Last year, more than 90,000 people took tours on the BierBike, and no one has been injured since the cycle has been on the road over the past six years, according to the company.

Author: John Blau
Editor: Cyrus Farivar

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