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How this Shuswap couple tapped into a unique beer market

Jody and Rob Shakespeare started the Tapped Truck this spring and plan to expand their fleet for next spring.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM / The Tapped Truck
October 08, 2019 - 1:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - This B.C. couple is making a splash with their unique method of serving up local craft beer, and they plan to expand their fleet for the 2020 season.

The owners of the Tapped Truck, a unique retrofitted 1967 Ford F250 Camper truck nicknamed Jewels, plan on creating another vessel for selling beer, hiring more staff, and covering more ground for next spring and summer.

"Our next addition to the fleet isn't a truck but it's brought to you by the Tapped Truck, it's going to be the Tapped Trailer,” says Jody Shakespeare, who started the company with her husband Rob. “It’s a 1969 horse trailer that we’re completely outfitting with four taps.”

The new addition will also mean more staff, and the couple is looking to hire two to four people to serve up suds at weddings, festivals, and birthdays. With the trailer allowing them more scheduling flexibility, they plan to expand the business beyond their current area of Kamloops, Kelowna, Revelstoke and the Shuswap.

“We would consider going further... as long as fiscally it makes sense we’re happy to take (Jewels) to Calgary, Vancouver, wherever the demand is,” Jody says.

The couple used to hold corporate positions in North Vancouver and never thought they would shift gears into the service industry. After her sister was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the couple reflected on their path and moved to Blind Bay to be closer to family.

“We realized that a diagnosis like that could happen to anyone,” Jody says. “It really forced us to reflect on what we really want out of life. Is the corner office really that important?”

Jody held onto her corporate position in sales while her husband took up consulting work as an architectural design technologist. Jody spent most of her working life in sales and decided to build something for herself rather than someone else.

“I’ve never poured a beer for somebody other than maybe a family member at Thanksgiving, I've never worked in a restaurant, so I can’t say when I moved to the Shuswap I was like, 'Oh, I'm going to learn to pour beer and serve people,’” she says. “Being able to apply some of the business acumen I have from being in corporate, and being able to use it to build something for myself, that's awesome.”

Jody saw an advertisement on Facebook for a truck that served champagne, and she realized that a beer truck would fare quite well in B.C. communities. She began researching and planning in early February and by March they had all the necessary permits and began searching for the most important part - the truck.

She says she created a list of various vintage trucks for sale and went to a family friend for some advice. He asked why the young couple would look into taking on a project truck, and suggested they talk to a friend who had spent nearly two decades restoring a vintage truck - but noted it was not for sale.


A post shared by TheTappedTruck ?? Mobile Bar (@thetappedtruck) on

“He had worked on this truck for 18 years, he had spent a lot of time investing and making sure she was perfect,” she says. “When he found out she was going to go to a place where the community was going to be able to enjoy her and she was really going to be a real showpiece, he agreed to sell the truck to us.”

The truck was named Jewels by the previous owner, and the Shakespeares decided to keep the name. The couple will tap any requested beer and sometimes dabble in kombucha and other beverages.

“When someone hires us, we put whatever they hire us to put on the truck but we always encourage craft beer selection. We really want to showcase what is happening in our backyard,” Jody says.

The couple feel it is important to highlight the craft creations in a local area and use their beer knowledge to teach guests about craft beer creation and other breweries in the area.

From their first event on May 25, the couple tripled their business forecast over the summer. Shakespeare says they are “already noodling on chapter three” and says they will continue to expand the Tapped Truck service.

To book the tapped truck for your event, click here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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