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Vintage brew

Bartending service drafts old trucks into service

It was a snowy afternoon in February when Nancy and Matt Barger came up with a vintage idea for a new business.

The snow had kept the Bargers’ four children at home for weeks on end. So the couple retreated to their home office and started looking at food trucks online.

“But we don’t cook a lot,” Nancy Barger said. “So, then we thought of beer.”

She loves old trucks and pretty much anything vintage, so the idea for Barger’s Beer Truck — a mobile bartending service using antique trucks — was born.

The Bargers have a lot of event-planning experience and run four different businesses. Nancy Barger manages two full-service event venues, The Pavilion and The Stables, and boards 11 horses at her family’s Hunter Valley Farm. They also have a floral design company for special events. Matt Barger teaches fourth grade.

Nancy Barger has lived on the farm since she was 7. While the farm’s primary business was boarding and selling horses, Barger and her father were also working as corporate pilots. When the recession hit, they decided to open The Pavilion in 2008 and host special events to bring in more income.

For their newest enterprise, the couple bought two 1940sera trucks to use as mobile bars.

“Louise” is a 1947 Chevrolet Thriftmaster farm truck that they found in Louisville, and named after Matt’s mother.

“It’s kind of a tribute to how hard she has worked her whole life,” Nancy Barger said.

The truck has been outfitted with a custom bar box lined with reclaimed barn wood. Three taps for kegs have been integrated into the design, along with wine storage and liquor display shelves. The

Nancy Barger stands at the portable bar she sets up for parties and events, using this vintage truck. She and her husband, Matt, launched Barger’s Beer Truck in May. They now have two antique trucks in service as portable bars, which come with everything but the alcohol and the guests.


Nancy Barger draws a glass of beer from a tap.

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