Beer trucks brewing in Surrey

Newton's Apollo Custom Manufacturing takes food vending up a notch

Rob Mallory of Apollo Custom Manufacturing with one of the Newton-based company’s current custom projects: a fire truck being transformed into a beer-and-burger truck.

Rob Mallory of Apollo Custom Manufacturing with one of the Newton-based company’s current custom projects: a fire truck being transformed into a beer-and-burger truck.

SURREY — It’s likely you’ve eaten out of a food truck. But have you ever been served a beer from one?

When that day comes, know there’s a good chance it was made in Surrey.

Newton, to be exact.

Apollo Custom Manufacturing, on the corner of 128th Street and 80th Avenue, specializes in food trucks, and they’re not just making hot dog carts anymore.

Changes to B.C.’s liquor laws last year opened new doors for festival-goers and farmers’ market attendees to sip spirits.

Naturally, Apollo has jumped into the world of beverage trucks.

“Everybody, especially in craft breweries, they’re all scrambling for their market share and to be noticed. It’s started to get cluttered in the craft brewery market,” said Rob Mallory, sales and marketing manager for Apollo.

“You’ve got to differentiate. Red Truck Brewing has done it quite successfully. So we want to bring marketing opportunities to these companies and show them they can get their brand out there.

“It’s a natural extension,” he noted, particularly considering the liquor law changes.

In their shop is a fire truck being fitted to serve burgers, hot dogs and, yes, beer.

They’re also fitting a classic truck with an Italian wood-fired pizza oven, and it will have wine and beer on tap.

That project is for Mission Springs, which has its own brewery.

Mallory said the company’s projects are getting more and more challenging, and it’s not just about beer. They’ve evolved from building typical cube vans to putting kitchens into all kinds of weird things.

“We’ve got sophisticated corporate people coming to us, and the mom and pops, and everyone in between,” he said.

“We’re getting requests for quotes on $34,000 pizza ovens. It’s really evolved from doing hot dogs on the corner to full-on restaurant, commercial quality kitchens.”

And they’ve completed some unique projects over the years, like a sushi truck and a New York waffle cart, putting a full kitchen inside a hot-pink Volkswagen van for Pig on the Street and transforming an old motorhome into a potato truck.

They’ve truly been doing it since before it was a thing. And now, they’re kicking things up a notch.

“We had a young chef from the Okanagan who wants to do catering specifically for the wineries and some of the higher-end establishments. But he wanted to stand out, so he brought us in a big silver Airstream. It looks like a trailer but it’s been dropped on a truck chassis,” said Mallory.

“It’s no longer just having a good product – you have to have something people remember. You might get a hamburger, but the thing is you’ll remember getting a hamburger from a fire truck.”

The food truck industry is showing no signs of slowing down, according to Mallory.

“It’s here to stay and it’s continuing to grow, especially here in Canada.

“It’s an industry now, it’s not just a trend,”

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com