Try saying “Leinenkugel’s Canoebicle” five times fast…
As an IT company, we thought this was too interesting to be true. But, sure enough, the Wisconsin-based brewery created a single canoe equipped with the basic necessities of an office cubicle. Launching at the docks of Brew City Kayak and Boone & Crockett, there is an excellent view of the Hoan Bridge as your office backdrop. The experience is booked in one-hour time slots where you are free to paddle around the immediate area while getting some work done.
It was a sunny 80+ degree afternoon despite the air quality alert when I embarked on this marketing adventure. With convenient lot parking—for 2:30 pm on a Monday—getting to the canoebicle check-in was very easy. After signing waiver forms (with terms and conditions too long to detail here), the Leinies attendants fitted me with a life vest in the iconic yellow and loaded my cell phone and MacBook into a dry bag before I carefully climbed into the canoe. So far with a clean record of zero spills into the river, the pressure was on. Thankfully, I didn’t become ground zero for canoebicle spills or need to contact our team for an S.O.S. loaner equipment emergency (a service offering of Stamm Tech) and managed not to dump my company device into the depths of the Milwaukee River. With the lifeguard and Tracey, our Director of Operations, cheering me on, I paddled out into the open water…well, within reason.
For a desk on water, it checks just about all the boxes. The canoebicle is equipped with onboard WiFi which was stable and strong enough to download large files (including video) and attend a Zoom meeting without dropping. The mounted desktop rolled forward and backward, locking in the backward position out of the way for paddling. There was also a Bluetooth speaker available for music, but I didn’t use it. The umbrella helped minimize the glare off my screen and I felt my MacBook was (mostly) secure on the desktop with its utility band stretched over the keyboard.
Overall, it’s an entertaining experience; however, the downfall of the canoebicle is that there’s only one. It’s a completely solo experience. If you’re an executive that needs a “focus time” hour away from consistent interruptions, this is the escape for you!
The canoebicle is a clever marketing attempt to entice customers of the Leinenkugels brand to try a new “remote work” experience that seems very tailored to the Wisconsin culture even with other activations taking place in Denver and Pittsburgh. All-in-all, not a bad way to spend $16.00 for some water time and a six-pack of Summer Shandy. Next year we hope they produce more than one rental so our entire team can host our weekly meeting on the water!