Entrepreneurs McCauley Williams, J.R. Kingsley and Justin Brooks are growing their innovative mobile beer vending idea beyond what they even thought possible after only a few months in business. The three are equal partners in The TapBox, which has already expanded to ten employees and two multi-tap refrigerated beer dispensing units (with two more in the design phase).
The TapBox started out earlier this year with one custom state-of-the-art refrigerated device with eight taps.
“We realized that with our device we could do pop-up beer gardens around town and try to reactivate underutilized public spaces,” said Williams, who is a practicing lawyer with a downtown firm. “So what started with an idea of building an awesome piece of equipment led to us trying to make a difference in the Memphis community by using the power of beer and the infrastructure of the craft beer scene here.”
The TapBox keeps the focus exclusively on the expanding roster of local craft beers from Wiseacre Brewing, High Cotton Brewing Co., Memphis Made Brewing, and Ghost River Brewing., as well as regional beers from breweries like Jackalope, Tennessee Brew Works and Southern Prohibition.
To accommodate its growing business, the guys designed and built a bigger, badder 10-tap second unit, which is now in operation, and they are working on a third 20-tap unit and a fourth creation that they are still keeping under wraps for now.
“We really take pride in the quality of our equipment,” said Williams. “from Day 1, our mission has been to always to build the best possible product that we can.”
Throughout the summer, The TapBox has stayed busy from Thursday though the weekends at a variety of events across town, including private functions as well as large public events at Shelby Farms and the monthly Fourth Bluff Series downtown. The Tapbox also takes care of beer sales at the Levitt-Shell concerts, the Lakeland Amphitheater, and the Mid-South Corn Maze.
Williams expects to hire more professional bartenders to man the company’s expanding fleet in the months ahead. He thinks Memphis is thirsty for more events at under-loved parks and community spaces.
“We think we can do pop-up beer gardens all over the city,” he said.
Look for The TapBox at the next Fourth Bluff Fridays event at Memphis Park on Front Street on Sept. 9 and then again on Oct. 14.