Jody and Rob Shakespeare found the inspiration to create the Tapped Truck from their love of craft beer. (Ashlee Aparvary of Hearten Photography)

Shuswap entrepreneurs tap into mobile craft beer niche

A husband and wife duo have converted a Ford pick-up into a mobile bar

An entrepreneurial couple has driven headfirst into a previously untapped market by serving beer out of a truck.

Jody and husband Rob Shakespeare are the creators of the Tapped Truck, a classic pick-up truck capable of serving up to 10 craft beers at a time all while keeping them ice cold on a hot summer’s day. Jody found the inspiration for the truck when she came across a vehicle that served another kind of alcohol.

“I was cruising on Facebook and something came up about a champagne truck and I was just like, that’s so ridiculous, who needs that much champagne ever? You only have a glass of champagne and then it just got me thinking, is there such a thing as a beer truck?” Jody said.

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While the idea of serving beer from a truck was new to her, the problem of not having tapped beer at parties and special events was not. She reflected on how difficult it is to host keg parties and how people generally don’t have access to craft beer at special events.

The couple decided to pitch their idea to Launch-a-Preneur, a program run by the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society. It was created to assist people plan and launch businesses in the Shuswap in a Dragon’s Den-style competition.

Launch-a-Preneur helped them navigate legalities and insurance, leaving them to locate a truck. Through a family friend, the couple procured their pick-up prize. A classic 1967 Ford F100 named Jewels.

The pitch placed third in the competition and won the Public Choice vote from the audience. The business operates on Special Event Permits issued by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, which allows event hosts to provide temporary liquor services at events such as family gatherings, private functions and community festivals.

The couple’s goals for the Tapped Truck included making the business sustainable while keeping the brews local.

“The truck definitely doesn’t come across as something that’s ‘green’ – she’s a 1967 old Ford pick-up,” Jody said. “But you can lessen your carbon footprint by being local; there’s an impact in that and supporting local business. That whole circle was something that we saw we could support.”

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Along with getting honks and waves from other drivers as they see the row of six taps on the bed of the truck, Jody has enjoyed meeting people through the business.

“It’s just been so fun. As a new member to the community, sometimes it can be challenging to get out and connect with people,” Jody said. “It’s the best conversation starter; we have strangers that come up to the bar that quickly become friends.”

The idea has been well-received by the public as business is booming. Every weekend in June the truck is scheduled for an event and July is shaping up to be much of the same.

Your next chance to meet Jody, Rob and Jewels will be Saturday, June 15 at Brewswap and Friday, June 21 at Shuswap Marina’s After Hours Social.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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