Swamp Creatures Step Aside, Here’s A Real Save The Day Van.

Vans – those often square shaped hybrids between car and truck that have somehow parallel parked into their own little niche within popular culture. It takes a special identity, or design, for something so unfashionably boxed shaped to do so. After all, it isn’t a bright red sports car, or a mountain climbing jeep. Yet over the years, vans have time and time again driven their way into the hearts of fans by often helping complete some kind of important mission – you remember the A-Team, right? (At least the remake?) It drove, jumped, and skidded its way through episode after cheesy episode as the team defended those who couldn’t defend themselves. And who could forget the Mystery Machine, that groovy, neon flower powered ride always visible in the background as the swamp monster’s mask was removed to reveal the true identity of our villain.

While perhaps not as iconic as the Mystery Machine, a new van has recently been spotted roaming around my own city, and as far as I’m concerned, it has been entrusted with a mission just as important as unveiling who’s really behind a mask of glowing seaweed. Its purpose, of course, is to deliver beer. It is the latest in a small but growing fleet of delivery vans owned by P.A. Short Distributing, each of which has been beautifully and colorfully painted – that’s right, pull over, flower van – with the logos and accompanying graphics of a regionally based craft brewery which the distributor carries. The most recent addition to the company’s three vans is a flag bearer on wheels for Devils Backbone, the award winning and Virginia based Nelson County brewpub now spun off to full-fledged production brewery in Rockbridge County. And it’s gorgeous. And no, I’m not just stuck on the fact this van is going to soon be bringing Devils Backbone’s very good beer to a store near me. Ok, perhaps that’s a little of it, but in addition to delivering DBB’s beers, the van does actually have more in common with the Mystery Machine than basic vehicle design. As it turns out, the Devils Backbone van does help to bring one small mystery to a close.

On the rear of the DBB van, right under the window, is painted the name of one of the two beers which will lead the brewery to its markets – their Vienna Lager. If you’ve visited the brewpub just south of Charlottesville, you have probably tried this very drinkable yet tasty interpretation of the forerunner of Oktoberfest style beers. Built upon a lightly toasted malt flavor with subtle sweetness and low hop presence, it’s a great introduction for anyone who hasn’t made the trip to the brewpub, or even those still curious about craft beer and hasn’t made the jump quite yet. If you’ve done both, like myself, you’re already looking forward to always keeping some of these in the fridge at the ready.

So if you happen to see this friendly beer lugging van doing laps around the Roanoke area soon, maybe give it a wave, or a honk, or maybe a friendly thumbs up. (Personally, I just caught myself day dreaming of taking it for a spin, talk about showing off to the neighbors.) Just no tailgating! Remember, there are precious bottles in there. Besides, who needs the Mystery Machine or the A-Team when there’s really good beer inside this van?

Visit the Devils Backbone Website Here!


~ by thebeerroad on December 28, 2011.

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