Isuzu’s Ultimate Craft Beer Truck launched in 2019 but has now been updated. - Photo: Isuzu Commercial Truck of America

Isuzu’s Ultimate Craft Beer Truck launched in 2019 but has now been updated.

Photo: Isuzu Commercial Truck of America

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, which is celebrating its 40th year,  announced the development of a new craft beer truck in collaboration with Summit Truck Body. This truck, which is built on a Class 5 diesel-powered Isuzu NRR, is being showcased this week during the 2024 Craft Brewers Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Ultimate Craft Beer Truck debuted in 2019 and Isuzu said it has grown in popularity over the years. Isuzu said recent studies show that in 2023 craft beer sales returned 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, according to the truck company.

How the Isuzu Craft Beer Truck is Used

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. Isuzu said the truck’s unique design and features often draw the public’s interest and owners regularly must give show-and-tells of the truck. With their branding on the truck, owners say they 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. 

“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,” Skinner said. “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.”

Building a Better Craft Beer Truck

Isuzu collaborated with Summit Truck Body to create the truck.

“Collaborating with Isuzu on this project has been really exciting,” says Ted Croce, president of Summit Truck Body, “It has challenged us 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 5.2-liter I4 turbocharged engine generates 215 horsepower and 452-lb.-ft. of torque.

Isuzu said its B10 durability rating of 375,000 miles is evidence of the engine’s long-term dependability and the Class 5 chassis provides plenty of payload for weekly deliveries without requiring a commercial driver's license.

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.

Features of the Ultimate Craft Beer Truck

Features of the Ultimate Craft Beer Truck, according to Isuzu, include:

  • A 16-ft. Summit insulated body 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.
  • 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 provide storage for the reefer power cord and event materials.
  • A 13-foot power retractable awning on the driver’s side with LED lighting.
  • A new tap system 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 more easily. The truck also has 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.
  • A dual-gas tap system means breweries can pour a larger variety of beverages. This new system lets servers pour with CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) or N2 (Nitrogen) simultaneously.
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