Pour de France: Salisbury bike shop now offers beer on tap

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2023

SALISBURY — Having a beer after a long day can be a nice way to unwind. Now people can have the chance to enjoy one after a long bike ride.

Skinny Wheels Pedals and Pints in downtown Salisbury now has a bar with several beers on tap for customers to enjoy a cold drink while looking at new tires.

Even though it may seem peculiar to have beer at a bike shop, it actually is a popular craze that is starting to become the norm with cyclists, according to owner Eric Phillips.

“It’s a growing trend. A lot of cyclists do like beer. Cycling is a very social activity. You socialize while you’re on the bike, you socialize in the car while you’re riding somewhere to ride bikes. We do bike packing trips. It’s a big social activity,” Phillips said.

Phillips grew up riding bikes. In 2010, he opened his own bike shop in his hometown of Mocksville, but moved to Salisbury in 2013 and has been here ever since. He prefers Salisbury because he sees it as the best place for his business to thrive.

“If you want to be in a slow paced environment and not have a ton of demand and stress, then that’s the place to be. If you want to see the business actually grow, you need to get somewhere a little bit more populated,” Phillips said.

There are other bike shops that have coffee or even a full restaurant for their customers. Phillips said he originally considered selling smoothies. “I just didn’t feel like my regular customer base would respond as much to the smoothies as they would to beer,” he said.

Skinny Wheels has Crank Arm Brewing from Raleigh on tap along with wine. Even though they don’t distribute their beer this far, Phillips has been personally driving there to get it.

“It’s bicycle themed beer. I actually like the product, too. I like that they’re themed that, but I also like the product. They do a really good job,” Phillips said.

Phillips received his permit to serve alcohol last month and the bar was put in three weeks ago. So far, people seem to be enjoying it. Skinny Wheels took part in Wine About Winter and will be in the Shamrock Cheers bar crawl in March. They have also expanded hours on Friday and Saturdays to better serve their new clientele.

“We have a funny saying, our shirts got it on there, ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes the beer taste better,'” Phillips said.