Riverhead Town Board members took the Brew Crew cycle for a test drive this afternoon. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Ready to pedal your way around Riverhead’s craft brewery circuit?

Brew Crew Cycles, offering bicycle tours to Riverhead’s craft breweries, is officially open for business.

The startup, located on Pulaski Street in Polish Town, celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the Peconic Riverfront this afternoon, followed up by a demonstration ride for town officials.

Brew Crew Cycles launched with a “soft” opening one month ago, co-owner Cathy Wilinski said. The novel touring company is owned by 10 women, all members of the same family — sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces and cousins.

The family got the idea when some were on a trip to Portland, Oregon, where they saw a multiperson touring “bicycle” in action.

The rig seats 14 — plus a driver, who controls the steering wheel and brakes. Ten of the passengers provide pedal power. (There are four seats for non-pedalers.)

“The response has been great,” co-owner Rebecca Donlan said.

“It has one gear and tops out at 6 mph — and that’s on a downhill,” Donlan said. “It’s an enjoyable pace.”

“What a great way to spend an afternoon,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said today after he and fellow town board members John Dunleavy and James Wooten went for a short spin. “That was a lot of fun,” he said after disembarking. It was his first time aboard. The two councilmen agreed.

“I love that this connects Polish Town and downtown,” the supervisor said.

The two-and-a-half hour tour allows 30-minute stops at each of Riverhead’s three craft breweries. It starts at Brew Crew’s Pulaski Street garage and goes first to Long Ireland Beer Co. on Pulaski Street. From there it’s off to Moustache Brewery on Hallet Street and then to Crooked Ladder on West Main. It takes about 10 minutes to pedal from one brewery to another. The rig returns to Brew Crew’s garage after the stop at Crooked Ladder.

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Some of Brew Crew Cycles owners after today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo: Denise Civiletti

“We stay on the back roads and off these main roads,” Donlan said. Today, after tooling elected officials around the riverfront parking lot, the cycle headed north on Peconic Avenue, west on Main Street and north on Griffing — to the parking lot behind Crooked Ladder, where it parked for a brief brew break.

Brew Crew Cycles currently offers three departure times on weekends: 1, 2 and 4:30 p.m., Donlan said. They operate two rigs and plan to have expanded summer hours including Fridays and weekday evenings.

The trip costs $30 per person. Corporate and private party bookings are available at a discounted rate. Reservations may be made online.

“As we go along people are honking and waving at us, pulling out their phones to take pictures,” Donlan said. “People are excited about it. Riverhead has really welcomed us with open arms.”

Today’s ribbon-cutting was set up by the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce. Food and refreshments were provided by the Hotel Indigo.

For more information or to book a seat on the Brew Crew Cycle, go to www.brewcrewcycles.com.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.