CUSTOM MOBILE BEER AND ALCOHOL TRUCKS
We’ve done it all. From quirky and unique custom food trucks for newly launched independent beer brands getting their name out there, to owner-operators looking to get in to festivals, events, and weddings, to promotional vehicles for the big beer boys as part of their marketing and brand activation.
DECIDING WHICH TYPE OF BEER TRUCK IS BEST FOR YOU
Some customers are dead set on what they want for their mobile beer truck – if that is you, skip all this and get a free quote today!
If you are not 100% sure yet or open to being convinced of an option, we have to walk through a few things in order to give you good advice on the right kind of mobile bar solution.
- What kind of beer are you selling? Do you want to sell canned, bottled, draft, or a combination?
- How many different brands and flavors are you thinking about carrying?
- Can you resupply fast and easy nearby or do you need to be able to really hold out on destination events?
- Who are the customers?
- Where are you based?
- Where do you plan to sell? For example, a Kentucky food truck license requires some parts to be installed by a KY Master Plumber – not a concern for most people but certainly nothing to accidentally ignore if you are based out of Cincinnati and hop down across state lines for events.
- Each case is unique and many food trucks that plan on operating interstate require proper consultation to be compliant in all counties they intend to serve.
- Are we actually doing a mobile beer truck or is there more to it? Is it a full on mobile bar truck with all sorts of alcohol and other drinks?
- Is it just drinks, or are we moving more towards a food truck that sells beer (too) rather than a food truck bar?
In short, the kind of shop you will be running greatly impacts the build and options. Copy the above list in to your mobile brewery business plan to answer one by one for later. If you don’t know what kind of beer truck is right for you, read on and take a look at our case studies where we go in to detail for some of the possibilities for mobile beer trucks.
WHAT KIND OF BEER TRUCKS ARE THERE?
Many types of mobile beer solutions exist. To keep it somewhat concise, we go in to detail only on a few of the most commonly requested ways to put a beer truck to good use. There’s many more of course, this is just a sample of what we commonly see with customers.
Let us know on submission of your quote request if you have other ideas!
MOBILE BEER TRUCKLEARN MORE →
A beer catering truck or event beer truck can really let it flow! No public event is complete without a bar or two – and now that bar can be you.
TRAVELING BAR TRUCKLEARN MORE →
Full bartending on wheels! Install a real bar and serve more than just beer, offering the complete package for events.
THE EXTRA TAPLEARN MORE →
Cruise around the golf course with the coolest of beer carts in the form of our Piaggio Ape, or set one up in an underserved pathway of a mall or hotel.
TYPES OF BEER/ALCOHOL TRUCKS
MOBILE BEER TRUCKS
Beer – and nothing else! A big mobile beer truck can be the focal point at a concert, festival, or other large public gathering such as a rally, race, or sporting event.
It is a great option for the big event catering companies to set up a mobile beer station efficiently. Mobile beer trucks can be made using any vehicle as the base and can be created to serve from both sides with a dual food concession window. Staff can stand inside with customers coming up to the bar or taps can be mounted on the outside.
Outside taps still allow for staff service by setting up a counter separately in front of the truck on a stall or table styled to match the truck. Having taps on the outside has two advantages over an inside bar:
- You can use more base models as less space is needed inside for sinks, staff, and refrigeration. All your available room can be used for bigger kegs or more kegs and flavors. This means classic regular cars, and not just vans, can be used too.
- If properly insured, a tap truck is also ideal for wedding guests and other events that buy out the bar. Let the guests pull the levers at their leisure and pocket all the normal staff expenses as extra margin.
- A clear negative to taps on the outside means having a less contained area for service. Some of the rowdier sports crowds might not be a great match for a delicately restored old-timer with handles out in the open.
A full mobile bar on wheels is a great solution for the independent food truck owner-operator and the craft beer truck aficionados.
Going for more than just beer on tap allows you to tend the full bar at events, and beer catering trucks are increasingly popular choices for both corporate events and weddings. Mobile bar trucks can take shape as a practical solution. A (chevy) step van or a Mercedes sprinter are universally the most popular and reliable choices for the amount of space they offer paired to their reliability and relatively affordable prices.
Bars need to differentiate though, both through your offering and the branding. That is why we always recommend to go custom for premium bar truck.
THE EXTRA BAR
Convenient, well-placed extra mobile taps can alleviate pressure from the main bar in larger venues, including indoor ones, or could serve guests that are further afield on a golf course with a flair that your old beer cart can not hope to match.
Smaller units, like a Piaggio Ape, are a 100% fun, quirky, and if so desired 100% electric way to create an extra point of alcohol sales. It is the perfect option to test the waters for a planned bar location at an empty spot in your mall or other large compound.
A genuine vintage airstream trailer bar conversion is an absolutely stunning, shining spectacle guaranteed to boost sales.
Through potential customers walking past your venue, or spotting it at an event and being drawn to your chromed beer taps like moths to a flame, and by having your stainless steel vintage billboard being just that little push the customer needed on Instagram, you are sure to get booked quick!
Airstream is a big brand and those nine letters run at a premium. This may be the right choice for you, but if stainless, silvery steel is the main driver for you considering this option we offer custom fabricated trailers too.
ARE MOBILE BEER TRUCKS LEGAL (IN MY STATE)?
Entirely so, yes. It just happens to be very hard to get a food truck license for public vending of beer and especially other alcohol.
This means that you can’t just pop up in a park on weekends and start selling beer without having your business in order. But if you are able to get a license, and fork over $12k or more, it is certainly not illegal as such.
Of course, the majority of beer trucks serve events only and have a much easier time of it applying for single use licenses for every event or piggybacking off the license of the venue they were booked at.
WHAT TYPE OF PERMIT IS NEEDED TO SELL BEER OFF A TRUCK?
Permits differ state to state and county to county. In general you can get away with a less restrictive and difficult license if you serve only beer with a <6% ABV and the less you move the truck, the easier and the better.
Stationary trucks on the premises of a restaurant or brewery can often be grouped under the license granted to the brick-and-mortar establishment provided you stay put.
Just in Texas alone there are over 67 types of liquor licenses, so this answer depends heavily on your local rules. Our advice is to always contract a professional to sort this out for you.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SELL BEER OUT OF A FOOD TRUCK?
The average cost for a beer and liquor license is between $10-15k per licensed location.
Additionally you will need to purchase liquor liability insurance in addition to your regular truck, and food liability insurance, at a cost of $100-150+ per 1-3 days or starting from $200 per year.
Selling beer itself, the installation, ranges from a few $100 for a great glass display fridge to showcase your craft beer bottles or cans to thousands of dollars for custom taps and service counters using high quality materials for the finishings.
HOW DO YOU GET A FOOD TRUCK LICENSE FOR BEER AND WINE?
Why do so few food trucks serve booze? It is not because of the lack of a (frothing, foamy) golden business opportunity.
The long and short of it is: get a local liquor license lawyer in your state, bite the bullet, and pay the necessary professional fees.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BEER & ALCOHOL TRUCKSLearn more in our knowledge center ►
Yes, we ship to Hawaii. Extra rates apply.
Yes, we ship to Alaska, although extra rates apply.
Containers go everywhere, and all units can always be shipped to the nearest port. We might not have a local forwarder in your country (yet) though, in which case we will find one together with you.
Of course! Karpatia has no real showroom, but we are always happy to host you at the workshop. You can make an appointment through our contact form and try before you buy. We operate out of Atlanta Georgia, at the MET business park (675 Metropolitan pkwy SW).
We will gladly export your vehicle to Canada but need a little more cooperation with you to get it up to local code than we would for US customers.
If you do it right – yes. Food and concession trucks are some of the most profitable small businesses you can operate without very specialized skills.
It is not as easy at it seems though. How on earth are you going to differentiate your Bud on tap from anyone else’s? Other than getting that wild mobile beer truck to serve it from of course, we get that part, but you have to think about the rest too.
It all depends on your product and the effort you put in to the business. Go out there and grind every day and you’ll be selling like hot cakes!
There are literally hundreds of food truck builders.
so why karpatia?
Karpatia provides one the best quality-to-value ratios in the industry. From 100% Made in the USA, to high end European classics and authentic conversions, we can do it all.
With Karpatia, you have an endless amount of possibilities. We will provide you with the best kitchen equipment and customizations such as full body wrap or painting. Working with us is fast and easy!
We also provide additional services to help you get started – from financing to food truck websites. We want to see you succeed, which is why we offer many options in hopes it will help your business be successful.
WHAT KIND OF BEER TRUCK IS
RIGHT FOR YOU?
Click below to get a free quote and officially begin the process.