What do craft beers and classic cars have in common? It turns out, quite a bit, if you’re talking about Craft on Wheels, a new on-the-go craft beer and bartending service in a—1957 Ford truck. That’s right, the yellow Craft on Wheels truck is customized to serve up to six beverage options from a unique built-in tap system. The Glens Falls-based bartending service officially opened for business on December 30 and since then, reservations have been, er, pouring in.
“We started advertising on social media just over a week ago, and already we’ve booked two weddings, a festival and more,” says Jim Murphy, who co-owns Craft on Wheels with his daughter Erin and area bartender Connor Neal. (During normal hours, Murphy’s the director of marketing and corporate relations at Proctors in Schenectady.) The mobile bar, which serves most of the Greater Capital Region from Lake George down to Albany, was customized by Neal to serve up to six different craft beers, hard ciders or even wines (or a combination of the three). Full bar service can also be added for clients looking for mixed drinks and cocktails.
Murphy says that the inspiration for the bar-on-wheels came from one of his partners who’d attended an event serviced by a mobile bar company based in Boston. “We did some research, and it’s pretty popular in some bigger markets,” says Murphy. “It just hasn’t reached out here yet.”
As for why the vintage F-100 truck? “We really wanted to do a vintage vehicle—they’re fun,” Murphy says. “And when we saw this truck, we fell in love with it.” Craft on Wheels’ co-owner adds that the truck’s new light yellow color has also made it especially attractive as a backdrop for weddings, private parties and other elegant events. “We like to say that we serve memories,” he says. “There’s nothing ordinary about a wedding, but we’re about making it a little bit more extraordinary.”
Murphy and his partners are bullish about the mobile bar’s future. If Craft on Wheels can continue gaining speed, says Murphy, he and the other co-owners might add a second vehicle by the end of the year. The local mobile bar has even been pushing its delivery range, recently bartending at a site more than 100 miles away in the Berkshires. What about expanding into other markets? Murphy laughs and says, “Maybe, but one step at a time.”