There is no place on Long Island better primed for craft beer tours than downtown Riverhead, where three breweries have opened in the past five years within a half-mile radius. Starting next month, Brew Crew Cycles is stepping in to fill that niche.
Brew Crew Cycles will offer tours on a party bike, just like the North Fork Wine Wagon but with beer on the mind.
Victoria Clacherty, one of the 10 women behind Brew Crew Cycles, explains that they got the idea after they went on a pedaling beer tour in Portland, Oregon. “We thought, ‘This would be so good to do in Riverhead,’” she recalls. Beer Crew Cycles ran the idea by town leaders, and they agreed.
Brew Crew Cycles found a manufacturer in North Carolina that already had one bike and agreed to make one more. Both will be shipped to Long Island soon to be moved into a storage facility at Pulaski Street and Hallett Avenue, where tours will begin and end, stopping at Crooked Ladder, Long Ireland and Moustache breweries in between.
The vehicle seats 14 passengers—with 12 on bicycle seats and two on a bench—and at least eight must pedal in order to move along at a maximum speed of 6 miles per hour. The tour guide will steer and control the brakes.
Tours are designed to be between two and two-and-a-half hours, though Clacherty says that once the bikes arrive and they can do a trial run they will have a more accurate idea of the time it takes. Individuals may reserve a seat for $30 and groups may reserve an entire bike for $375.
Brew Crew Cycles will operate Saturdays and Sundays starting April 18, and Fridays will be added to the schedule beginning July 3. On holiday weekends, there will also be Monday tours.
Clacherty says several restaurants have reached out about being added to the route, and Brew Crew Cycles is happy to incorporate them into longer excursions such as bachelorette and birthday parties.
“We’re open to ideas, depending how long the people want to be on the tour,” she says.
Many town officials and business leaders expect Brew Crew Cycles to be a boon to Riverhead tourism.
“We’ve been talking with the town supervisor and the chamber of commerce and they’re all aware of what we’re doing, have given their approval and are on board with what we’re doing,” Clacherty says. A ribbon cutting ceremony with local officials is being planned for May 2.
Brew Crew Cycles is just one of the ventures the group of women have planned.
“We started because my aunt wanted to form a women’s family business,” Clacherty explains. “She didn’t actually have a business in mind, but she wanted to get us all together.”
Three generations of Marangas women formed a company last summer, pooling ideas and capitalizing on their varied experiences. Brew Crew Cycles is the first idea they executed, though they have more projects in mind for the future.
For more information on Brew Crew Cycles, visit brewcrewcycles.com.
The three breweries on the Brew Crew Cycles route: