We will now focus on the “beer caddies” used to get the beer from the brewery to the distributor, especially in the 1990s.
A long time ago, brewers shipped beer in cars that advertised their product.
Per the Colorado Railroad Museum, for several years beginning in 1934 Adolph Coors Company had a fleet of 30 of these cars to transport its product in the Rocky Mountain area.
This advertising practice continued through the 1960s.
Hamm’s Beer boxcar from the 1960s.
More recently, beer is shipped in cars lettered for railroads or private leasing companies.
Coors Brewery in Golden, CO, shows 8 railroad boxcars simultaneously being loaded with beer for distribution. These 8 boxcars alone carry the same amount of beer as 32 semi tractor-trailers.
The above cars waiting to be loaded at Coors Brewery are lettered for BNSF and predecessor road, ATSF. Below is a closer photo of such cars.
ATSF 625385 in Denver CO on Aug 7 2013 — Photo by Paul Rice
Now for some 1990s beer cars that could appear on my ATSF in Roswell in the 90s.
Western Pacific 67030 in Elmira NY on Aug 21, 1989 –Photo by Greg Dickinson
WP 67021 in Iler OH on Oct 28 2006–Photo by Joe Rogers
Three loads of beers being delivered to the Roswell Budweiser distributor in the early 1990s. Many of the Western Pacific cars were painted into this livery after the Union Pacific bought the Western Pacific in 1983. The cars trailing the WP box car were lettered for the Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific. ©C Hunt photo
ATSF 621056 in Bethlehem PA, October 12, 2007–Photo by Richard Leonhardt. Many ATSF cars similar to this one delivered beer to the Budweiser Distributor in Roswell in the early 1990s, often in cuts of 3 or 4 cars.
For more Roswell action, also see my February 15, 2014 post entitled, “How about a Cold One?”
For a modern illustration of beer traffic on rails, enjoy this video on a BNSF beer train near Golden, CO November 16, 2012.
Hope you enjoyed this series. Brewers and railroads have had an important relationship for a long time. Think about that the next time you “pop a top.”