Isuzu Announces New Generation of the Craft Beer Truck

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., distributor of America’s best-selling low cab forward trucks, today announced the development of a new craft beer truck in collaboration with Summit Truck Body. This truck is showcased during the 2024 Craft Brewers Conference in Las Vegas, this week.

Isuzu’s Ultimate Craft Beer Truck debuted in 2019 and has grown in popularity over the years — much like the craft beer industry it serves. Recent studies show that in 2023 craft beer sales are back to pre-pandemic levels and the industry is growing again. Craft brew pubs are commonplace and many local restaurants serve craft beers from their local breweries.

Most craft brewing operations are small businesses that brew and self-distribute in their local communities. Craft breweries are also known as very good marketers. They know how to reach their audience with beer at their pub or at local music festivals, street fairs, and other live events. They use social media to promote their vibe, new products, and the community they serve. Drinking craft beer is more than just having a tasty beverage. It is also an experience that involves appreciating the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into creating the beer. Overall, drinking a craft beer is a multi-faceted experience that encompasses taste, culture, and community. Isuzu’s Ultimate Craft Beer Truck is a dual-purpose vehicle that helps connect all of these facets of the craft brewery business. It gives these breweries the ability to make their regular deliveries, and to promote their beer at live events – a weekday workhorse and a weekend party machine.

Craft breweries, casinos, and party rental companies have bought a number of these trucks for serving at events and have successfully used them to promote their businesses. The truck’s unique design and features often draws the public’s interest and owners regularly must give show-and-tells of the truck. With their branding on the truck, owners regularly benefit from being the star at the festivals and their customers’ social media posts.  

Shaun Skinner, President of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, agrees that this truck is a great delivery tool and marketing piece for small businesses.  Skinner said, “This has been one of the most intriguing products we have been behind. Most people associate work trucks with box trucks, sweepers, and dumps, but the Ultimate Craft Beer Truck is synonymous with delivering fun. The customers that have bought them have enjoyed a lot of success and we constantly get questions about the truck and if there’s one available. It remains an exciting product.”

Isuzu collaborated with Summit Truck Body, a known body builder in the Pacific Northwest and “brewed” up something special.

“Collaborating with Isuzu on this project has been really exciting,” says Ted Croce, President of Summit Truck Body, “It has challenged us (Summit) to think about how we engineer our insulated body for a new market, make it exciting, and maximize the features and convenience for those serving from it.”

The Isuzu Ultimate Craft Beer Truck starts with a Class 5 (19,500-lb. GVWR) diesel-powered Isuzu NRR. The powerful, efficient, and reliable 5.2-liter I4 turbocharged engine generates 215 horsepower and 452-lb.-ft. of torque. Its robust B10 durability rating of 375,000 miles is evidence of the engine’s long-term dependability. The Class 5 chassis provides plenty of payload for weekly deliveries and does not require a commercial drivers license to operate.

The truck’s low-cab-forward design provides drivers a view of the ground as little as eight feet from the front of the truck. Even better, the truck’s best-in-class maneuverability makes navigating tight city quarters a breeze, something that is much more challenging in a conventional cab.

Just like a mullet hairstyle, the chassis is the business in the front and the body is the party in the back:

  • A 16-ft. Summit insulated body (16’L x 90”H x 96”W) that is cooled with a Thermo King 690R with electric standby. The walls are made with compressed foam panels that are durable and have an excellent R value. Inside, the smooth walls, keg-height e-track, and insulated aluminum floor has ample space for kegs and crates while keeping the product refrigerated. The electric standby provides flexibility in loading the truck in the evening for the next morning’s delivery, all while keeping the product cold.
  • A 2,500-lb. Maxon TE-25L tuck-away liftgate with side steps helps ease loading and unloading. Its capacity and platform are large enough for a loaded pallet jack.
  • Two toolboxes (one each side) provide storage for the reefer power cord, and event materials.
  • On the driver’s side, a 13-ft. power retractable awning providing shade on sunny days and when the sun starts setting, LED lighting keeps the area below illuminated.  
  • Convenience is at the heart of the design!  The new tap system’s insert has been redesigned to incorporate the Isuzu logo and a numbering system for the 8 Perlick 650SS taps. It is taller than previous generations to accommodate larger tap handles, and it is deeper so the drip tray can catch the overpour easier. This also gives more room for pitchers and glasses. Speaking of the drip tray, it incorporates a glass rinser that uses a 5-gallon Corny keg hooked to the system’s gas and drains to a 15-gallon grey water tank that can later be dumped. All these features provide an immense amount of convenience for a quick and easy setup, for ease in serving, and best of all, an easy teardown for when the party is over. The tap door is locked with two latches and the lights and awning are controlled with switches — allowing setup or tear down in 10 minutes or less. Saving time and lessening the cleanup are key benefits of this design.
  • Breweries can pour a larger variety of beverages thanks to the truck’s new dual-gas tap system! This new system lets servers pour with CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) or N2 (Nitrogen) simultaneously. One can setup each of the eight taps to pour whatever one likes. With individual pressure gauges on each tap, you dial in the right pressure for each beverage. And if the audience prefers a bomber or a can, the new body incorporates a “Bomber Door” for quick access to cold packaged beverages inside the refrigerated body.

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