Isuzu develops truck for booming craft beer industry

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Updated Apr 12, 2019

Isuzu NRR craft beer truckCraft beer is one of the hottest business segments in the U.S. and Isuzu Commercial Truck of America is getting on board.

Since 2014, craft breweries have more than doubled and, 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. In collaboration with Supreme, Delivery Concepts, Inc. and Anaheim, Calif.-based craft brewer Bottle Logic, the truck maker and distributor of America’s best-selling low cab forward trucks has developed a Isuzu NRR craft beer truck.

The truck was designed for micro-brew operations that make and deliver in their surrounding communities.

To promote their business, brewers often take part in local music festivals, street fairs and other live events that draw festive crowds and find themselves needing a dual purpose vehicle – one to make regular deliveries and one to promote their brewery at live events. The NRR beer truck does both.

The chassis is an Isuzu NRR with a 150-inch wheelbase and a 19,500-lb. GVWR to accommodate heavier payloads.  The Isuzu low cab forward design features a 49.5-degree wheel-cut angle for maneuverability, allowing drivers to make deliveries and set up displays in tight quarters that cannot be negotiated by conventional cab trucks. The truck’s visibility allows drivers to see the ground within eight feet of the front of the truck, and an 85-degree door-swing angle means entry and exit are easy for deliveries and set-up that are faster and more efficient.

The NRR is powered by Isuzu’s 5.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine which generates 215 horsepower and 452 lb.-ft. of torque, for an impressive combination of fuel economy and performance.  And its robust B10 durability rating of 375,000 miles, is evidence of the engine’s long-term dependability.

Isuzu NRR craft beer truck - view of beer taps“The combination of economy, power, maneuverability and low cost of ownership, made choosing the NRR as the basis for our new craft beer truck a no-brainer,” said Steve Napolitano, co-founder and president of Bottle Logic.  “We can’t wait to put this truck to work for us.”

After reviewing Bottle Logic’s operations, Isuzu, Supreme and Delivery Concepts, Inc. created a body equipped with:

  • A 16-ft. Supreme Kold King insulated body (16’L x 91”H x 96”W) that is cooled with a Thermo King 680R with electric standby.  This setup will provide ample space for kegs and crates while keeping the product refrigerated.  The electric standby gives brewers more flexibility in loading the truck in the evening for the next morning’s delivery, all while keeping the product cooled.
  • A 2,500-lb. Maxon TE25L tuck-away liftgate with side steps to help ease loading and unloading during delivery.  E-track has been mounted on the interior of the body at a special height to secure kegs during transit.
  • Two 24” x 24” toolboxes (one on each side) store tables, chairs and event material.  A 15-ft. overhead retractable awning provides shade for servers and customers alike.  When at live events, this will make set-up and operation a cinch.
  • Of course, a tap system!  The driver’s side of the body has an 8-tap beer station integrated into the side with a 10-gallon overflow tank and a special mounting on the body’s interior for the CO2 manifold.  Covering the taps on the exterior, is a locking door that swings up to serve as a menu board.  LED lights illuminate the taps to provide a clean hi-tech appearance.