Wave Limo and Tours in the News

Breweries roll out party bike tour of pubs

BRAD OKE OF SMACKWATER JACK’S IN GRAND BEND IS LAUNCHING A 16-PERSON (10 PEDALLERS) TOUR BIKE THAT WILL TRAVEL BETWEEN CRAFT BREWERIES IN EAST LONDON STARTING IN APRIL. IT’S BEING LAUNCHED TUESDAY WITH THE BOARD MEMBERS OF TOURISM LONDON TAKING A SPIN AT ANDERSON CRAFT ALES. (MIKE HENSEN/THE LONDON FREE PRESS)

Come spring, Old East London may have its own BRT system, as in Beer Rapid Transit.

OK, maybe not so rapid, but much more fun.

The transit vehicle will be a PedalPub, a giant bicycle with room for 16 people, including 10 pedallers, one driver and five just along for the ride.

The transit stops for the two-hour tour known as London Libations will be east and central London’s growing club of craft brewers including Anderson Craft Ales, Toboggan, the London Brewing Co-op, Powerhouse (which will soon open in the old Kellogg plant) and Union Ten, a new distillery soon to open in Old East London.

The PedalPub is being introduced to London by Brad Oke, owner of Smackwater Jack’s in Grand Bend.

“It’s the first bike of its kind in Ontario’s southwest. It’s fun, safe and a great way to get some light exercise while touring the sights,” said Oke.

Last summer, Oke launched Tour the Shore, a highly successful bus tour of craft breweries, cideries and distilleries in Huron, Perth and Lambton counties, running as many as 10 tours a day.

Oke said “party bikes’ have been popular in Europe for some time but the phenomena has now spread to Victoria, Edmonton and Montreal as well as about 50 U.S. cities.

The PedalPub is fitted out with beer barrels but alas, they’re just decorative. Ontario law prohibits drinking alcohol on the PedalPub.

Oke said he received all the necessary approvals for the tours from police and bylaw officials and he plans to launch London Libations in April. He said it is a great outing for tourists, bridal parties or corporate functions.

“We’ll pull up, have some tastings, get an explanation of the beer and then pedal on.”

Oke travelled to Minneapolis, Minn., to pick up his PedalPub, which is manufactured by a firm in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, the board members of Tourism London will be the first to test out the PedalPub starting at Anderson Craft Ales on Elias Street.

The PedalPub will also be featured at this weekend’s London Food and Wine show.

Oke has plans to buy a second PedalPub, which will be used for tours of the watering holes in Grand Bend. There are also plans for a walking tour of restaurants in Bayfield.

But Oke won’t be using the PedalPub for his cross-county tours of wineries and cideries.

“They only go about 10 kilometres an hour. You could almost walk as fast. It would take way too long.”

 

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source: http://www.lfpress.com/2018/01/15/breweries-roll-out-party-bike-tour-of-pubs

2017 Entrepreneur of the Year – Brad Oke, Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse / Tour the Shore


Chamber Director Tina Hayter presents Brad Oke with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award category was a crowded category this year with five local entrepreneurs nominated, including Claire Hodder (Lakeshore Pet Care), Roxy Hodgins (Wellness Cabin Health Company), Brad Oke (Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse & Tour the Shore), Theresa-Lynn Robertson (That Girl Taxi) and Pete Roelands (Oasis Landscapes). Entrepreneurial spirit is the essence of economic growth for a community. People with vision and energy see an opportunity and create an enterprise by taking on all the risk, working many hours and hopefully ending up with a viable business!

This year’s winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year was Brad Oke for his ongoing creativity in extending his product and service offering, including the 2017 launch of Tour the Shore which tours groups to local breweries, wineries and cider houses as well as local attractions. Brad’s championing of local tourism assets includes volunteer work on Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation’s board of directors.

Brad Oke is owner/operator of Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse, which now serves about 48,000 patrons annually, employs up to 50 staff in peak summer months and 10 year-round staff. Originally developed to alleviate patron difficulty in parking near the restaurant, the shuttle service quickly expanded to three vehicles serving up to 120 patrons on a busy Saturday night. Offered for FREE,  shuttle users were encouraged to donate and in 3 years raised $7,000 for MADD Sarnia.

Realizing he could build on the shuttle concept, Brad developed a new tourism offering, launching “Tour the Shore” excursions in 2017. Tour the Shore chauffeurs groups to local breweries, wineries, cider houses and points-of-interest. This unique offering broadens Brad’s business mix and supports growth and visibility of other local businesses. This summer and fall, Tour the Shore took 50 groups, or about 500 people, to local craft breweries and cideries and has bookings until the end of January 2018.

 

On January 16, 2018 the London Tourism board of directors will be taking an inaugural, environmentally-friendly ride aboard the PedalPub®.  PedalPub® is a party bike with a barrel that can accommodate eight to 16 riders. It’s being introduced to the London Tourism by Smackwater Jacks Taphouse entrepreneur, Bradley Oke.

PedalPub’s debut tour begins at Anderson Craft Ales and will pedal its way to London Brewing Co-op, Toboggan Brewing Company, and Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery. Oke is thrilled to bring the PedalPub® to London and the surrounding area, he says, “It’s the first bike of its kind in Ontario’s Southwest. It’s fun, safe and a great way to get some light exercise while touring the sights.” A London brewery hop seemed a most fitting adventure for the bike’s first tour. (Note: Alcohol is prohibited on the bike on public property and roadways.)

The public can give the PedalPub® a try at this year’s London Wine & Food Show from January 18-20. The bike will be at the Smackwater Jacks Taphouse booth where Tour the Shore and London Libations tours will be introduced. Beginning in April 2018, these tours for wine, beer and adventure enthusiasts will be offered on the PedalPub® or in luxury transportation provided by Smackwater Jack Taphouse’s fleet of Mercedes vans.