Beer Tanker Trucks – the urban logistics of beer delivery

The Czech Republic has the highest per capita rate of beer consumption in the world. Czechs drink 131 litres (35 gal) of beer each year per person, compared to 78L (21 gal) per person in the US, or 68L (18 gal) in Canada.

Beer Tanker Truck
Pilsner Urquell Beer Tanker Delivery Truck in Prague, Czech Republic

That’s about 45 regular sized bottles of beer for every man, woman and child in the country. So how can the logistics of beer distribution be optimized, especially in tight urban areas? The answer has been to introduce ‘beer tankers’ that serve restaurants and bars that invest to have 500 to 1000 liter (132-264 gal) tanks installed in their establishments. These beer tanker trucks pipe beer into the tanks from the street outside the bar, removing all the costs associated with carrying kegs or bottles. Additionally, the tanks are designed with a “bag in box” system, where the beer is mechanically squeezed out of the tank and does not come into contact with compressed air which improves the quality and taste of the beer. Because of this, restaurants will advertise their tanks as a benefit for their customers who prefer the “tankové pivo” (beer from a tank).

tankove Pilsen
Source: Pilsner Urquell Website (In Czech)

This is an example of a win-win-win solution in urban logistics. Restaurants don’t have to deal with kegs and bottles and returns. Customers get a better product. Emissions are surely reduced as the weight of the kegs and bottles is not needed to be moved, and deliveries can be done more efficiently.