Brooklyn Brewery

Bikes and Business Profile
From Transportation Alternatives Magazine, March/April 1999

Brooklyn Brewery Sales Reps

Business: Brooklyn Brewery

Brand Manager: Jim Pickett, 34

Neighborhood: Williamsburg

How do you use bikes in your business? I started a program at Brooklyn Brewery that allows our sales force to ride bikes on the job. We started with four Trek 930s, used mostly in Manhattan. So far, nine employees have bought them using a discount from Trek and a local retailer, Metro Bikes.

How do the employees use them? It’s up to the individual. Some of the employees work only at the brewery and cycle to work. In the field, the sales reps bicycle to meet clients. These reps average two days a week on the bikes — they don’t ride on days they have to dress up, like for appointments at hotels and fancy restaurants. We’ve also outfitted the bikes with racks and panniers. Reps carry a cell phone and an electric organizer, and often we’re making deliveries, like tap handles or promotional items. So everything goes in the saddlebags. The Treks have Kryptonite locks, but it’s safer to wheel the bike right inside. Luckily, none of our bikes have been stolen.

How do clients react? They think it’s pretty cool.

What gave you the idea? I found that subways weren’t always reliable, and taxis were expensive. While traveling I noticed that Seattle police officers were on bikes. You can cover more ground more easily on a bike. Since I also inline skate, I considered that option too, but they take more exertion. On a bike you can take it easy, not get too sweaty, and still move pretty fast. It’s a great way to get some exercise on the job. And after account maintenance the night before, it’s a good way to work off the effects. Beer Samples in Panniers

Do beer and biking mix? Definitely not — we never drink on the job. Even casually, I highly discourage that sort of thing. All your senses must be alert to bike in this city.

Are the sales reps doing this in all the boroughs? No, several ride in Manhattan, but our accounts in the outer boroughs are too spread out.

What’s the best thing about biking on the job? You have a lot more mobility and flexibility. On one route, using a bike knocked off two hours.

Worst thing? It can be dangerous, and there’s a big risk of theft.

Any biking improvements you’d like to see for the city? More bike lanes. It’s nice to know you have that safety zone, even though cars don’t always pay attention to them.

*Visit Brooklyn Brewery for tastings and tours every Saturday*

Photos by Malcolm Matushy