A new truck in Savannah brings craft beer with a throwback style straight to events, weddings and more.
For the owner, the experience brings together his love of unique brews with a passion for vintage vehicles.
Joseph Toole arrived in Savannah a few years ago to take a new job with the Tybee Police Department. As an officer on the DUI unit, he saw his fair share of party-goers who chose to get behind the wheel to find the next celebration.
He began to consider: what’s a better way to have fun and enjoy an event responsibly?
That search led him to the Tap Truck franchise, an international group of vintage beer vehicles based out of California. The business model provides a way for people to bring the party to their event safely, without having to leave to go find a bar or liquor store.
"I thought it was a scrumtralescent idea to ‘uber’ alcohol to parties, people, beaches, etc. and cut down the amount of people that would make that ‘beer run," Toole remarked.
The Tap Truck is essentially a mobile bar service for a wedding, party or special event. Guests choose the craft brews, wines, ciders or cocktails they want to enjoy and Toole and his bartenders take care of the rest.
When he first joined the franchise in Nov. 2018, the business advised Toole to buy a truck that had already been restored. It was easier to let someone else do the hard work.
But Toole didn’t listen. He wanted to get his hands dirty.
"I've always been into classic cars. I love the nostalgia, love the history, love the style," he added.
The search for just the right vintage vehicle led Toole to a 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Panel Van Thriftmaster. The truck started out with a dairy company in Atlanta, then moved to the U.S. Postal Service, before finding its way to a rural farm.
"I found my truck deep in a barn in northern Georgia," Toole recalled. "I think the only thing that was sad to see it go were the chickens who called it home."
The front end is from a 1970s Monte Carlo, while the rear end that’s welded to it is from a C4 Corvette, with a melting pot of manufacturer’s parts in-between.
A hood from Boston, a bumper from New Orleans, wheels from California, and tires custom-made in Texas – Toole says the whole truck is held together by blood, sweat and tears.
"It took a year and a half to bring it back to life, but now it’s ready to roll, ready to pour, whatever the occasion," Toole added.
The Tap Truck features real craft beer taps right on the side, providing a range of local and regional craft brews for guests. It’s a fun way for Toole to tap into his love for unique beverages, and the history of the area.
"Savannah is a harbor for craft beer, craft coffee, and events," he shared. "Tap Truck rolls perfectly into that scene."
Though the COVID-19 outbreak has made live events a little more scarce this year, things appear to be ramping back up. The Tap crew has found ways to keep the good times flowing, taking part in outdoor events and providing hand sanitizer and social distancing for employees and guests.
Just a few years into his fledgling business, Toole says he’s excited with this new journey that has taken him from police officer to craft brew entrepreneur.
"I love the atmosphere of sharing the event with whomever I'm with," Toole shared.
"From start to finish I have a smile on my face."