Custom Mobile Beer Trucks

The Case for a Beer Food Truck

Bar trucks and other mobile beer solutions can be used for many different business (and beer) cases. All this untapped potential for extra sales at events and festivals or for showcasing your brand is available for everyone from all-Bud hometown bars to beardy hipster craftbeer brands and brewpubs. 

And 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 and promotional vehicles for the big beer boys as part of their marketing and brand activation. 

Some customers are dead set on what they want for their mobile beer truck – if that is you please go and click the yellow button and tell us. 

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. 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? 
  • And 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 what kind of shop you will be running greatly impacts the build and options. Copy the above list in to your 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 solution exist – too many to really define and lay it all out. 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. 

Let us know on submission of your quote request if you have other ideas!

Mobile Beer Truck

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 Truck

Full bartending on wheels – install a real bar and serve more than just beer, offering the complete package for events.  

The Extra Tap

Cruise around the golf course with the most modern of beer carts in the form of our e-Tuk Vendo GT, or set it up in an underserved pathway of a mall, hotel or airport.

Mobile Beer Trucks

Beer – and nothing else! A big mobile beer truck can be the focal point of f&b 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 made to serve from both sides with a dual food truck hatch. 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 – setting up a counter separately in front of the truck on a stall or table styled to match the truck. Havings taps on the outside has two advantages over an inside bar: 

  • You can use more base models – less space is needed inside for sinks, staff and refrigeration. All your available room can be used for bigger 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 is having a less contained area for service – some of the rowdier sports crowds might not be a great match for a delicately restored oldtimer with handles out in the open. 

Bartending Trucks

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. Which 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. And getting every guest their beer faster results in that much more beer sold. 

Smaller units like our e-Tuk Vendo GT are a 100% fun, quirky and 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. 

 

Airstream Bar

A genuine vintage airstream trailer bar conversion is an absolutely stunning shining spectacle guaranteed to boost sales. 

Both directly – through passersby going past your venue or spotting it at an event and being drawn to your chromed beer taps like moths to a flame – and directly by having your stainless steel vintage billboard being just that little push the customer needed on Instagram or your website to click and book you. 

Airstream is a big brand and those nine letters run at a premium – that 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. 

 

Make sure you are not Bootlegging it!

Go pro!

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. 

Meaning you can not 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. 

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. 

 

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 however over 67 types of liquor license – so this answer depends heavily on your local rules. Our advice is to always contract a professional to sort this out for you.

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.

 

our process

Understand

By assessing your dreams we come to a shared understanding of who we are building for and why

Exploring multiple design options lets us find the solution that best suits your business goals

Ideate

Refine

We refine the concept and provide you with a detailed design that meets your needs

Close monitoring during production ensures we meet your standards. You can always fly- or drive in and take a look!

Build

Operate

We offer a range of extra services to support your operation, so you can keep your focus.

There are literally hundreds of food truck builders.

SO Why KARPATIA?

1.

Karpatia provides the best quality to value ratio in the industry - from CE conforming standards fit for a 5-star hotel on Asian products to high end European replicas and authentic conversions.

2.

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 – fast and easy.

3.

We also provide additional services to help you get started – from financing to food truck websites 

What kind of beer truck is right for you?

Frequently Asked Beer & Alcohol Truck related questions

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 showroom – but of course, we are always happy to show the workshop. You can make an appointment through our contact form and try before you buy. 

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 trucks and concession trailers 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!

Wait!

Quotes are 100% free no strings attached

You'll have a perfect floor plan, artist sketches of your truck or trailer, accurate 3D render and full inventory list at zero cost and nothing signed.