When partners James Watts and Matt Barrett purchased Silver Moon Brewing in Bend, Ore., in 2013, they had the intended to shake things up and do business a little differently. Recognizing that Central Oregon, and Bend specifically, is known for being an “outdoor town,” Watts said, the co-owners immediately looked for something they could take to outdoor festivals, fund-raisers, marathons, cycling races, and other events to represent the brand well outside of the brewery.
To meet the goal of shaking things up, Watts and Barrett came up with the idea of creating a mobile version of their tap room, called the Moon Rover. The two owners turned to the Ram ProMaster 2500, and collaborated with their beer distributor, the Spooky Dawson marketing group, and Driving Force Graphics to come up with the final product.
The cargo van features a full wrap showing the company’s logo and popular beer brands, as well as a fun photo of the owners on the back, giving the impression you are looking into the van as it is driving along. Additionally, four working beer taps were installed on the driver side of the vehicle, with large graphics above each displaying the type of beer on tap.
“We have received a lot of attention while on the road. We had a little fun with the graphic on the rear doors and got a lot of chuckles from that,” Watts commented. “Some people don’t believe we have working beer taps on the side, but they are fully functional and it makes it easy to show up to an event and be ready to go right away.”
The vehicle features enough storage space to haul 16 kegs and a pop-up bar with stools (which fits up to 18 people), plus the ice to keep the beer cold and ready to serve to thirsty customers. In addition, an awning was installed on the van to keep customers shaded and cool in the high desert heat.
According to Watts, there weren’t many challenges to overcome in bringing he and Barrett’s idea to life; however, since the van does not have a reefer unit, they are working on an additional upfit to find a way to keep their kegs cold without depending on buckets of ice.
Detailing the Ram ProMaster 2500
The front-wheel-drive Ram ProMaster 2500 was ideal for the brewery due to its size, cargo space, and ability to drive well in inclement weather, according to Watts. They selected the 136-inch wheelbase high roof model, equipped with the 3.6L PentaStar V-6 rated at 280 hp with a peak torque of 260 lb.-ft.
The Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial’s latest addition to its commercial vehicle lineup, based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production in Europe for more than 30 years.
Available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths, the vehicle features a lightweight unibody construction with a best-in-class payload capacity up to 5,145 pounds and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 pounds. The GVWR for the 3.6L V-6 is 11,500 pounds. The van is now also available with a 3.0L I-4 EcoDiesel (at 12,500-pounds GVWR).
For anyone else looking to create a unique upfit for their fleet, Watts had one piece of advice: “Be original! Be the first! Don’t just copy another idea, put your own spin on it and make it original.”