As It Happens

This London brewer turned his van into a pub on wheels

Pouring an ice cold pint of beer for a Londoner in front of their home is "a beautiful thing," says brewer Pete Brown.

Pete Brown says his 'Tactical Beer Response Unit' is bringing 'pure joy' to thirsty customers

London brewer Pete Brown has found a way to serve customers stuck at home by turning his van into a pub on wheels. (Submitted by Pete Brown)


Pouring an ice cold pint of beer for Londoners in front of their homes is "a beautiful thing," says brewer Pete Brown.

Brown, the director of Forest Road Brewing Co., has turned his van into a "pub on wheels" to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"It's not an unknown concept for me to be able to drill a hole in something and make beer come out of it," Brown told As It Happens host Carol Off. In the past, he's tapped everything from kegs to fridges.

"So on Monday last week, I got a little utility van and popped some holes in it."

He calls this mobile keg a "Tactical Beer Response Unit."

"I was going to call it the beerbulance, but my girlfriend thought it might be a little bit too touchy," he said. 

Brown says he sees 'pure joy' on the faces of customers receiving t heir curbside pints. (Submitted by Pete Brown )

Londoners can order their frosty refreshments on Forest Road Brewing Co.'s website, and Brown will drive up to their curb and pour the beers fresh from the taps installed on the side of the van.

"I just park up on the side of the road ... with the taps facing the house, put my gloves on and the face mask up, and hop out and get some pint glasses and fill them up and let them go," he said.

People's reactions, he says, have been priceless.

"Especially in England, when you've taken away the concept of a glass of cold beer, which almost everybody who lives in the capital has experienced at least once, after not having it for six weeks, it's pure joy on their face," he said. 

"I think it transports the customer to a time where things were normal and, you know, that experience brings you right back to finishing a long day of work and going off and meeting your pals on a sunny day and doing the thing."

Brown says business is booming. (Submitted by Pete Brown )

Brown already operated a pub before the pandemic, so he's able to use his existing liquor license to deliver booze while his establishment is closed. 

But he can only serve beer to those who order it online, he said. 

"It's not like we roll up to a park corner, as much as I would love to," he said. "It's not like the ice cream truck."

Even with the limitations, Brown says business is booming.

"Since we announced it, every single postcode in London has asked if we could come to them."

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Morgan Passi. 

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.