November is the time of year we tuck our unique fleet of vintage vehicles away for the winter to keep them in tip-top shape. In the early days of Upper Canada Brewing Company (Steam Whistle Brewing's predecessor) Co-Founders, Cam and Greg looked at some plain, beat-up white delivery vans and had an idea: What if we took them to this big graffiti festival in Toronto?" Greg explains The vans were decorated, and as Greg was driving back afterward, he noticed people were cheering and smiling at the now-graffiti-adorned van.
"People everywhere were yelling "Right on! Hey, nice van!" and I'm like, Wow, people are really freaking out; this is great," he says. "That's when we said, Let's get an antique vehicle that matches the brand's old look and feel, and then drive that around as a one-vehicle parade."
This is how Steam Whistle's classic beer delivery fleet was born.
Read below to meet our vintage vehicle fleet!
The Steam Machine
For this 1967 Ford Econoline Heavy Duty, we reached into the 70's to create this Scooby-Doo-inspired "Steam Machine". Our incredibly talented SWB design team created the wild graphics for the vintage Ford Econoline Van. The Steam Machine was also outfitted with chrome draught taps for easy pouring at outdoor events. The Promotions team and event bartenders are the lucky ones to hold the keys to the Steam Machine. Watch for this rig at one of the hundreds of Steam Whistle-sponsored events across Ontario.
Steam Weaver: 1973 Dodge Tradesman Aptly named for the infamous 70's boogie van/disco era, this 1973 Dodge Tradesman has been kitted out with funky graphics, shag carpet, velour upholstery, pom-pom window fringe, a table and horseshoe bench which convert to a bed, and a high-powered stereo system. This "party-on-wheels" is complete with draught taps on one side of the van for easy pouring. Currently stationed in Quebec, the Steam Weaver tours our retail and licensed establishment customers. FEATURES: 5.9 liter V6 Engine; Rear-wheel drive; Uni-frame platform lower cargo floor; 2 draught taps; side-sliding door; Horseshoe couch converts to bed.
FEATURES: In-line 6 cylinder engine mounted between the seats; forward control steering; 90" wheelbase; rear counterweight to offset front-heavy engine; 2 draught taps; shag carpet interior
The Steam Machine: a1967 Ford Econoline Heavy Duty, we reached back to the 70's to create this Scooby-Doo inspired "Steam Machine", outfitted with side-pouring draft taps.
This 1957 Dodge Postal Panel Van was christened with this name for the guaranteed smiles and chuckles from anyone who sees this one-of-a-kind cargo van. You just don't see many vehicles like Chuckles on the road. A private owner in Richmond Hill, Ontario, had done a lot of work on the original vehicle, and since then, we've made further updates: replacing the engine with a 350 cubic inch small block, adding a turbo transmission, replacing the suspension with a late model Chevy Malibu front clip, rebuilding the floor and frame, and installing a new interior. By the time Chuckles arrived at the brewery, she was glistening and ready for loading.
FEATURES: Short Wheelbase & flat nose for tight turns; Rollup back door; sliding driver/passenger doors; 2 draught taps.
Our 1968 Chevy Pickup did some heavy haulin' in 2005 with a move across Canada when Steam Whistle launched in Alberta. She was named Betty for her good company on the road. This vintage pick up was a labour of love for Paul Speirs, who has restored most of Steam Whistle's vintage fleet. Paul had rebuilt this truck for himself and hadn't spared any resource in her making. Betty has come home to Ontario and sports a new paint job. This beauty creates a "one-man parade:, receiving friendly waves and horn blasts from admiring fans.
FEATURES: custom box-mounted draught-pouring system; 6.5 foot box; 250 horsepower 6-cylinder engine; independent front-suspension.
Betty: Our 1968 Chevy Pickup hauls Canada's Premium Pilsner and Good Beer Folks wherever celebrations are happening.
1958 Chevy Apache 100% electric conversion. Steam Whistle built this emissions-free pickup to honour our love of vintage vehicles and sustainable beer making. The original gas-burning engine was ultimately replaced with a complete power and drive unit assembly from a donor Nissan Leaf. A permanent magnet A/C motor and 30 Kw/h lithium based battery pack make this a legendary vintage EV beer truck both retro and very contemporary.
FEATURES: 1/2 ton Stepside short box; A/C motor inverter (controller) delivers approximately 120 horsepower 190 ft/lbs of instant torque; level 3 DC fast charge plug with ability to charge 80% capacity in 20 minutes.
Retro Electro: this 1958 Chevy Apache, with 100% electric conversion, honours our love of vintage vehicles and sustainable beer making.
1970 4x4 Scout 800A - The Scout was a pioneering American off-road vehicle manufactured by International Harvester from 1961 to 1980. It's a rare truck, especially with the removable hard top option. We found the Scout on a horse-farm in Newmarket, but you can see it in the Niagara region of Ontario delivering beer and visiting customers during the warmer months of the year.
FEATURES: dual gas tanks for extended range; interchangeable hard top and convertible soft top; 4 wheel drive; matt black headlight bezels; heavy rear axle and quieter Dana 20 transfer case.
The Scout: this rare 1970 4x4 Scout 800A with hard top, is our warm-weather beer delivery ride in the Niagara Region.
Our fleet is tucked away for the winter but check out our collectible enamel pins and be sure to give our fleet a wave once they're back out of hibernation!
Posted on November 03 2022,