New California Laws 2016

Hundreds of new California laws took effect on Jan. 1. Capital Public Radio looked at the tangible impacts of these laws on the lives of Californians.

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New Places For More Beer In California

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

Drew Walker of Sac Brew Bike begins to steer a party bike down 19th Street in Sacramento.

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

Starting January 1st, California law allows beer brewers and peddlers new opportunities to sell their frothy wares. In 2016, you may be able to drink on a party bike or in the farmer’s market.

The party bike is a wooden bar on wheels, surrounded by bike seats with pedals underneath.

In Midtown Sacramento, Sac Brew Bike driver Drew Walker calls, "Get me off the curb, guys. This is the hardest part."

Twelve people cycle furiously to put the contraption into sluggish motion toward the first stop on a bar crawl. They cheer as the bike picks up speed, to a heady five miles per hour.

The vehicles are so new, California hasn’t had rules of the road, so a new law sets safety requirements, speed limits, and could allow them to serve beer.

Before he sets off, Grant Grable says he approves.
"I like to have beer wherever I can have beer," Grable says.

He won't be able to partake immediately. Cities get a say; they have to pass local laws if they want to allow party bike drinking.

Local restaurant owner Terry Sanders—also along for the ride—has mixed feelings.

"I think that could get out of control a little bit, but I’m not opposed to it," Sanders says. I just think it’s something they’d have to monitor and probably bigger liability."

Party bikes that do serve beer will have to add an extra employee, a safety monitor, on each ride.

"We might charge a little bit of a surcharge for that," says  Sac Brew Bike owner Chris Ferren-Cirino. "We are incurring additional expense with insurance as well as having an additional employee that’s supervising."

For those who don’t want to pedal while they drink, lawmakers have created another option—the farmers market.

In 2016, craft brewers can provide tastings of their beer at farmer’s markets. The law says samples cannot exceed eight ounces.