Story and photos by Vivienne Pearson
‘I like Kombis and I like beer, so this seemed like a perfect combo’. So says Jason Dwyer, owner of an actual Kombi van as well as a new business – Kombi Keg Byron Bay. If the words sound like they could have come out of your mouth (or someone’s you know), read on as you might be interested in having the Kombi as part of your next celebration.
The concept is so simple it’s surprising no-one has thought of it earlier. Put a battered old Kombi van though a quality restoration but, instead of seats / beds / storage in the back, create a bar, with the inside for kegs and a chilling system and lines feeding up to taps on the outside of the van.
In fact, the concept has been thought of before but not very long ago. The concept was started by a man very like Jason (ie into Kombis and beer!) just last year, and already there are a dozen Kombis around the country and popping up internationally. Jason’s wife found out about Kombi Kegs when researching ideas for Jason’s 50th. When they found there was not yet one in this area, they decided to take it on themselves.
Ready for business just last month, the Kombi is available to come to wherever your party is. It gets loaded up with kegs of your choosing then you have two options. Manager Kris Hendy can stay and serve, or the Kombi can be left for you to pull your own drinks. Most people take the second option. ‘It’s amazing how many people haven’t pulled a beer before,’ says Kris. ‘It’s a real novelty at a party.’
It’s not all about beer – the Kombi can dispense almost any type of drink. ‘Any liquid, whether carbonated or not, can be put through,’ says Jason. This includes cider, wine, spirits (along with a mixer), soft drinks, juice and even pre-made cocktails. With six taps available, you can have five completely different types of drink (the sixth is reserved for water, part of the Kombi’s compliance with safe-drinking regulations).
Jason and Kris anticipate weddings being a big part of their business but are not limited to big events. ‘We can pull up in a field and set up,’ Jason says. ‘It is self-sufficient and doesn’t need power, so can be a great part of a low-key celebration.’
The Kombi was only a twinkle in Jason’s eye by the time his 50th rolled around. His friends enjoyed that celebration, but I suspect they are now really looking forward to his 51st!
Kombi Keg, available for bookings via www.kombikegbyron.com.au