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State holds hearing on legalizing 'pedal taverns'

The state Senate held a hearing on Wednesday for a bill that legalizes so-called "pedal taverns."

"Pedal Taverns" are four-wheeled vehicles powered by multiple people pedaling, like a bike. The bill would allow passengers to drink beer while on board, something that's currently prohibited by state law.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman sponsored the bill. He says this legislation allows an up-and-coming industry to grow. "It is clear this bill would improve small business climate and tourist industry in our state by reducing regulation that has a negative impact on small business."

Grothman says the bill allows municipalities that don't want pedal taverns to pass ordinances prohibiting them.

Owners of the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern support the bill. They allowed customers to bring beer on board their 16-person vehicle until city officials told the owners last year that state law prohibited the practice. The owners, including Ryan Lloyd, told senators their business has had a significant impact on tourism in the city. Loyd says he is also focused on safety. "Safety's our number one thing. We've had no incidents in all these tours we've done."

The state Assembly passed the bill earlier this month. It has the support of the Tavern League of Wisconsin.