Thanks to a bullbar and a bullhorn fastened to the front of his new Isuzu Traypack, Adam Watts likes to pretend he’s in a prime mover.
“It’s a proper truck bullhorn,” says Adam, who is one half of family-owned Outback Brewing Co. “It’s really loud so It’s like I have a semi but it’s not a semi.”
His Traypack, while not a semi, does still have everything he needs to pick up produce Adam later adds to the beverages, take kegs to pubs as well as carry what he needs to showcase the craft brewery’s ciders and beers at festivals.
Based in Chittering, Western Australia, Adam, who runs the company with his twin brother Peter, had previously been driving an Isuzu ute.
But with 750,000 kilometres on the clock, he felt like it was time for an upgrade. He also knew they wanted something to carry all their gear, so they didn’t have to continuously hire a trailer.
The answer was the NLR 45-150 AMT SWB Traypack, which meant they could carry an extra tonne of weight but didn’t require a special license to do so.
“With this truck, because it’s a three-tonne, we can get everything to a festival in one trip,” he says. “And it can all be done with just a regular driver’s license.”
This model is powered by a 4JJ1-TCS engine that produces 110kW at 2,800 rpm and has 375 Nm of torque. Adam’s is a 4 cylinder, 6-speed manual with a gross vehicle mass of 4,500 kg and a gross combination mass of 8,000 kg.
Adam and his brother are refrigeration technicians by trade and a lot of their work involved breweries.
They liked what they saw, developing an interest in the art of brewing beer.
“We thought ‘we could do this,’ so we decided to have a crack,” says Adam, adding that his fondness for beer also helped in his decision.
Today, their concoctions are known for their natural ingredients and unique flavours and are sold wholesale in kegs to various venues.
Unlike many other breweries, Adam says, their label isn’t mass produced, and they keep their batches small, pumping out three to four thousand litres every fortnight. There are no chemicals used when brewing. In fact, the water they use is rainwater.
“There’s no water up here so we have a 300,000-litre water tank and the rainwater just runs off the roof,” Adam says. The various flavours they come up with are all dependant on what’s nearby and what’s available.
“We have a passionfruit farm around the corner from us so we do passionfruit flavours, and then if there are pineapples around, we might do a pineapple cider,” Adam says. “We don’t store produce, so it is about whatever is available at time.”
One of their most popular flavours, however doesn’t come from a tree.
Bubble gum has become a firm favourite after Adam melted down Hubba Bubba chewing gum to extract the flavour.
“I ended up getting the flavour out of it, but it was a bit of a painful exercise,” Adam explains. “So I decided to write to Hubba Bubba and they sent me a flavour profile and we got someone to make it and wow, it was great.”
Being refrigeration technicians has come in handy in the brothers’ quest to quench the thirst of their fellow Western Australians. They have built a custom refrigerated unit that they can put on the back of the Traypack when they need it to keep their stock cold.
“We forklift it on and off when we need it for deliveries,” Adam says. “It’s a hybrid with a battery and inverter so it’s quite self-sufficient.”
Adam says he’s happy with the Traypack’s four years of free servicing and the fact that it has a seven-year 250,000-kilometre warranty on the motor. His only complaint is that he wants another one.
“I’m looking at the exact same truck but with a dual cab,” he says. “We’ve got some staff and it means we can carry a bit more weight in the back.”
The twins’ goal now is to begin distilling whiskey and rum and while Adam says the two of them argue all the time, they do seem to “get the job done,” and at the end of the day are happy to indulge together in an ice-cold beer.