Updated: Jan 22
How often do you see bike racks outside of a restaurant? Never. How about a bar? Once in a blue moon (no pun intended). Now what about breweries? Every single one has a bike rack. Why? Well, let's be honest...hipsters. Who brews craft beer? Hipsters. Who drinks craft beer? Hipsters. All these beer brewing, fixie riding hipsters have it right though. What's the point of being a local brewery if you can't get there the old fashion way (that is, without your car?). Craft breweries (and their man-bun rockin' staff) are drumming up old school methods of getting to the grog.
And. It's. Awesome.
A Healthy Alternative (a.k.a. - a legitimate excuse to drink more beer)
From the time I walked out the door, strapped on my helmet (cool kids wear helmets), and got my fat ass onto my bike and down to NOLA Brewing (the second farthest brewery from our house), it was ten minutes. Had I put my fat ass in the car, waited for traffic, cursed at the stop lights, etc... it would have taken 8 minutes to get to the brewery. 2 minutes faster.
Let's do some beer math...
I burned 81 calories lazily riding my bike to the brewery. And another 81 to get home. That's 162 total.
You know how many calories I would have burned driving the 8 minutes there? 9.
Now - You can look at this two ways. Biking is great cardio, burns calories, and promotes a healthy life-style. You can also look at it as - "Hey, 162 calories is like, a whole extra beer, at least!"
Either way broski - I think we can both agree that riding a bike to your local brewery has more perks than peeling out in your souped up cool-guy mobile.
See More of Your City Than the Main Strip
When you drive, you take the same routes to get anywhere. Get out of your neighborhood onto the two lane avenue, that avenue leads to the freeway, and you're on your way. Over. And Over.
Today, I rode about a mile an a half to NOLA Brewing. I took the quiet side streets through Uptown and meandered through the outer bounds of the Garden District. I have lived in New Orleans for going on 6 years. It's a small town, forced into a cramped geographical location, bounded by the river on the south and the lake to the north. So when I say I've seen the city, I really have. And yet today, I wandered into neighborhoods I never knew existed. Had I driven, I would have taken the all too familiar route to the brewery, passing sites I've seen a thousand times. I got to know my city better today, simply by riding my bike.
More Bikes Means Less Parking
You probably think this is the part where I go on a rant about how cars are killing the planet and bikes are our saving grace. Not me, guy. You want a rant like that, I'll get Erin on here. No - I am an advocate for biking because it reduces the need for parking lots and structures.
In a city like New Orleans that has a finite geographical space, the last thing I want occupying precious real estate is parking lots. I hate it.
Breweries offer an alternative to driving. In fact, I cannot think of one brewery in New Orleans that has a dedicated parking lot that is anything other than a dirt patch on it's own property. Ride a bike! Don't have a bike? Walk. Take public transit. You are contributing to a stronger, closer knit community, because communities that are built around roadways are sparse.
Less Drivers Means Less Drunk Driving
This one is obvious. If you didn't drive to the brewery, you can't hurt anyone or yourself drunk driving back home. Now - I am not condoning drunk riding. While it's unlikely you are going to kill anyone in a drunken bike wreck, the chances of YOU getting hurt are up there. However, I think most of us can agree that if you are going to have one or two, or more, over the limit, that it's better that your on a 20 pound bike, rather than behind the wheel of a 3,500 pound vehicle. Breweries are part of the movement to reduce drunk driving while still maintaining a fun and safe culture of inebriation.