Hazel Eyes Photography
The Chug-a-Lug Wagon is Charleston's newest mobile beverage service
It kept the likes of Cary Ann Hearst hydrated during High Water Fest this weekend and we fully expect to see images of this adorable, tiny Italian delivery truck in heavy rotation on the 'gram throughout the summer. Meet the Chug-a-Lug Wagon, the twee-est of all beverage vehicles.
According to Chug-a-Lug Wagon owner Theresa Wolf, the idea for the Chug-a-Lug Wagon came after working in the event staging industry for years. The co-owner of French Eclectic along side Katie Elmore, a company that rents furniture for weddings, events, and backstage lounges, felt like she was missing out on being a part of the actual events.
"We set up the furniture and go. I wanted to be more of the party," she says.
Bringing a beverage service to the party seemed like the solution. After researching a variety of vehicles that might work, she came upon the 1991 Italian Piaggio Ape and was immediately sold.
"She got her paint job in Italy. Then I waited for her to Silverside Design
, a fabricating company in Charleston to build it," she says. The tiny vehicle that goes 35 mph and whose name, Wolf says, stands for worker bee in Italian, is typically used as a little workhorse delivery truck. But for Wolf's purposes, it's delivering a six mini kegs, or sixtels.
"With all of those it's the equivalent of two full size kegs," she says. The kegs are cooled in the back of the truck by a jockey box system that cools them through coils.
With this system in place, Wolf can serve up to six taps with everything from prosecco to beer, like the Lagunitas she served at High Water.
"I think the fun thing about it is you can have a large quantity of alcohol or nonalcoholic," she says. Lately kombucha from Dalia Sofia Ferments have been a big hit with clients. She's also partnered with Cannonborough Beverage to serve their sodas when she stations the Chug-a-Lug at the Johns Island Farmers Market.
"We can serve anything that can flow through a tap," says Wolf.
As for the legality of serving alcohol from a vehicle, well she's found a work around.
"After speaking with lawyers, legally they don't offer mobile liquor licenses," she says. So, instead her clients buy the alcohol. "There's no markup. The client is purchasing retail." Working with her supplier, Wolf gives clients a list of options, then she handles all the arrangements. The client merely has to swipe their credit card for the actual booze and voila, a vintage drink caravan.
In addition to the truck rental fee, packages begin at $650 and go up to $900, although there are add-on options as well including flowers, calligraphy, and glassware.
For more information, visit chugalugwagon.com