Emerson's unveils mobile Mini Bar

By John Lewis

Emerson's Brewery founder Richard Emerson (left) and Castle Street Panel Beaters director Nigel Constable share a cold one from the new Emerson's Mini Bar. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery, Otago Daily Times
Emerson's Brewery founder Richard Emerson (left) and Castle Street Panel Beaters director Nigel Constable share a cold one from the new Emerson's Mini Bar. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery, Otago Daily Times

Richard Emerson has brought new meaning to the words "mini bar''.

The founder of Emerson's Brewery has unveiled his latest gear for dispensing his beer - a 1974 Morris Mini 1000, otherwise known as (you guessed it), The Mini Bar.

From the footpath, it looks just like any other classic Mini. But a closer inspection shows the back seats have been removed to accommodate two kegs, and the boot opens up to reveal four beer taps.

And if two kegs are not enough, more can be added by running lines through a fake fuel tank nozzle on the outside of the car.

Space is certainly tight - so much so, that once the drinking glasses are loaded in, there is no room for a cash box.

But that was OK, Mr Emerson said.

"Why do we need one? That's what pockets are for.''

He said the pint-sized car paid homage to the "little old Mini'' he owned in his youth, which he used to transport his home brew around Dunedin.

The car was altered by Castle Street Panel Beaters director Nigel Constable, and the project was a great example of Dunedin businesses working together and "having a bit of fun on the journey''.

The Mini Bar was popular at the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Christchurch recently, with many people having their photos taken sitting in it, standing next to it and even lying across the bonnet.

"The ladies love it. They love the look of the Mini and they love the fact that there's beer on the back of it,'' Mr Emerson said.

The Mini Bar was created for promotional purposes and was ideal for "driving up to events'' and serving his beer, with little set-up time needed.

"We can just drive in and put a smile on people's faces.''

Emerson's Brewery sales and marketing manager Greg Menzies said the Mini Bar car handled the return trip to Christchurch for the festival well.

"You do have to nurse it. She's an old girl. But, to be honest, having two kegs in the back was lighter than having you or me in there,'' he said, pointing to Mr Emerson.

To maintain the car's inconspicuous look, Mr Emerson said, there were no plans to put the brewery's logos on the side.

"I just want it to look like a normal car. I want the element of surprise.''

The next event for the Mini Bar will be the Arrowtown Pie and Pint Festival from April 21-25.

- Otago Daily Times

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