Isuzu Taps into Craft Beer Market with Truck that Stores, Pours

April 12, 2019 by Alan Adler, @AlanAdler

Isuzu’s U.S. truck company is making a play for the craft brewery business, unveiling a concept truck that hauls chilled kegs and has taps from which to pour suds.

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. unveiled the truck at the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver. It is built on the medium-duty Isuzu NRR cabover chassis truck.

“We’ve gotten a lot of interest, way beyond any expectation,” said Brian Tabel, Isuzu executive director of marketing, who came up with the idea 2½ years ago.

After talking to breweries that complained of needing two vehicles – one to deliver beer and another to serve it – Tabel sought partners who could combine both.

Isuzu NRR cabover beer truck

Bottle Logic Brewing in California will use the truck at festivals and other live events. (Photo: Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc.)

Supreme Corp., a body-building company owned by Wabash National Corp., provided the box whose Kold King 16-foot insulated body is cooled with a Thermo King 680R. Delivery Concepts Inc. designed the taps and other upfits.

“If you can maintain the beer at a steady temperature, it goes a long way to keeping it healthy and fresh,” said Bill Rapai, who wrote “Brewed in Michigan,” a chronicle of the state’s craft beer culture.

Two 24-inch-by-24-inch toolboxes, one on each side of the truck, store tables, chairs and event material. A 15-foot overhead retractable awning provides shade for servers and customers. An LED-illuminated eight-tap beer station is integrated into the driver’s side body with a 10-gallon overflow tank. A locking door covers the taps when not in use and swings up to serve as a menu board.

Bottle Logic Brewing, an Anaheim, Calif., brewery, will use the truck to promote its brews at music festivals and live events.

“We can’t wait to put this truck to work for us,” said Steve Napolitano, co-founder and president of Bottle Logic.

The NRR is powered by Isuzu’s 5.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine, which generates 215 horsepower and 452 pound-feet of torque. It has a B10-diesel durability rating of 375,000 miles.

The truck has a suggested retail price of about $60,000 before the modifications that transform it into a brew vendor.

Craft brewing has become a big business.

The number of craft breweries more than doubled to 6,266 during the period from 2013 to 2017, according to the Brewers Association. The craft brewing industry contributed $76.2 billion and more than 500,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in 2017. Craft beer sales grew 5 percent in 2017, capturing 12.7 percent of the beer market by volume.

Alan Adler March 18, 2019
The U.S. Army will try to destroy Mack’s armored heavy dump truck in testing this summer.

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