Steam Whistle Brews Success with Mack
According to Gordon McCaffrey, “Our motto is ‘Do one thing really, really well.’ That’s why Mack Trucks is such a good fit for our company..”
McCaffrey stands in front of a line of bright green trucks outside the headquarters of Steam Whistle Brewing, an independent craft brewery in Toronto’s historic John Street Roundhouse. The trucks — three MACK? Granite? models and one Pinnacle? Rawhide edition — glow in the sunlight. So does McCaffrey as he talks about one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies.
“Steam Whistle Brewing has been making our craft pilsner since March 2000,” he said of the pale lager that takes its name from the city of Plzeň (or Pilsen) in Bohemia, the Czech Republic. “We started with 16 employees and are now up to 154 full- and part-time staff. We are the largest single craft beer brand in the province of Ontario.”
Steam Whistle’s director of distribution said the company achieved that growth by following its motto. “We have a singular focus of making just one beer of exceptional quality that Canadians can be proud of. We’re also known for being a great place to work, for our community support and sustainable business practices.”
That “good beer, good folks” culture extends to all of Steam Whistle’s operations. “It’s never just about the quality of the pilsner but every element of our brand, from our packaging and quality control measures to the kind of trucks we drive.”
Steam Whistle has purchased three Granite models with 405-HP MP7 engines, Mack front axles and Mack air suspension. The 2013 Pinnacle Rawhide edition features a 505-HP MP8? engine, Mack mDRIVE? transmission, Mack front and rear axles and a Mack suspension. It is run by owner-operator Phil Marsh, who introduced Steam Whistle to Mack.
Support is essential. “We worked closely with Steam Whistle to make sure they got what they wanted,” said Emily Paterson, dealer principal and VP of operations at Durham Truck & Equipment in Ajax. “They have a contract for maintenance — it’s a whole package. They are in the beer business, not the trucking business. We look after them.”
Performance is a must, another reason the company turned to Mack. “Beer is a very heavy product and that weight adds an extra burden to our delivery fleet,” McCaffrey said. “The payload and durability of the
Mack vehicles have allowed us to accommodate the rapid growth of our business. The beer industry is super weather dependent, so when the heat of summer hits, we know we can count on our trucks to get a massive quantity of beer out to thirsty Steam Whistle drinkers all across the province.”
Branding is vitally important to Steam Whistle, which is why it chose a supplier with a great reputation and instant recognition. The company likes the look of the new Mack trucks. The Granite model is not a typical city delivery truck, so it gets noticed, especially with Steam Whistle’s distinctive livery colors. “We know our vehicles are moving billboards for the brewery, so sharp vehicle graphics and shiny chrome help to deliver our message about quality through attentionto- detail,” McCaffrey said. “We are very proud of our partnership with Mack Trucks as they provide the same valued ‘overbuilt quality,’ dependability and some great retro aspects to their trucks. They fit well into our fleet.” And Steam Whistle’s culture.