Saturday, January 8, 2011

6 million bottles of beer...

It is a long, slow journey for the six massive beer vats enroute to the Molson's brewery.

First, there was the 20 days crossing the ocean from Germany. They couldn't be unloaded for a few days due to high winds in November. Then they stayed in the Hamilton Port for a few weeks while the final logistics of the move were made. Then Christmas came... so the move was postponed so as not to interfere with holiday traffic.

But, last night was the much anticipated move. The first leg of a four night slow crawl.

Because of their size, highways are out of the question, they would never fit under the bridges, or the many overhead signs. The company charged with this undertaking had to plan a route that would avoid overpasses and then coordinate with police forces to close intersections, raise or cut hydro and cable wires to get the vats through, steer trucks by remote control through tight areas and remove metal poles then weld them back in place. The plan was to move about 10miles (15km) a night. then rest during the day.

Last night, it barely made it 3 miles into the first leg. The freight company is blaming the hydro company for not being prepared. Then a snow storm hit.

This map shows the anticipated first leg. The vats made it to Dundurn, just before the bridge. It still has a l-o-o-ng way to go!

The beer vats are huge — 45 metres long, eight metres high and more than seven metres wide - or in American values: 147' 7" long, 25' 3" high and more than 23' wide. And they can each hold enough liquid for about 1.2 million bottles of beer. There are 6 of them. Pity it's destined for Molson Coors and not a better brewery

Update on the crawl....
now that the convoy is out of the city things are moving better. the vats are now resting after a 12 hour 13km journey on day 2.


  1. They sure are BIG!! Why did the brewery have to get them from Germany? Wasn't there anywhere on the American continent?

    And that's an awful lot of beer!

  2. I always wonder how people plan these types of things. I'm glad they weren't blocking my way!

  3. Amazing!! Did they ever get to the brewery? Just wondered! I know the weather has been awful!

  4. There is nowhere here that can make these vats, so they had to come from Germany and they had to be shipped because of the weight and size. They couldn't come into the port in Toronto because there is a highway between the waterfront and the rest of the city (plus too many underpasses from the other highways).

    Friday night was the first night of travel - they are only travelling at night for the least amount of disruption - and by the looks of things, it will take longer than 5 nights to go the 40 miles (65km)

  5. They look like gigantic kegs.
    Imagine if somebody tapped 'em while the caravan was stopped.
    But I guess they'd get caught. If they drank alla that, they'd pass out under the wheels...

  6. It must be an extraordinary sight, the vehicles carrying these huge kegs crawling along the road.

  7. June: well they are moving slow enough... though I doubt they'd be able to move at all if they were filled!

    Jabblog: I have only seen them at rest, but tonight I may head up that way on my way to work to see it in action.

  8. I come to read of huge vats! Beer, it seems, can make the world go round~ or rather halt as it passes.
    Hope 2011 holds all you can wish for Violet.

  9. Molson doesn't deserve the vats. But then they'll never make it at that speed.

    - Jazz

  10. Meggie: Australians know about beer!

    Jazz: I guess if they can spend $24 million, then they deserve what they get.

  11. Whoa! That is a lot of beer!

    I can hear it now-- I was late to work because I was following the beer truck :-)

    Cheers, jj

  12. While all this is uber interesting, inquiring squirrels want to know if there will be any free distribution of celebratory beer invovlved.

  13. Very interesting!
    «Louis» cracked up on your comment about it being a pity that the vats aren't going to a better brewery!

  14. Joanna: a once only excuse!

    LGS: doubt it, unless you are a wandering squirrel who has fallen in...

    Louis: cheers ;)

  15. Wow. But all for a very good purpose. :-)

  16. SAW: more beer is always a good thing. I prefer to drink the craft brews, myself, but in a pinch, on a hot summer's day, a Molson's can be refreshing.

  17. Interesting, and informative. So interesting that I chose to share the link with Facebook friends.!/profile.php?id=1355527123

  18. Okay, that's IT. I'm hooked. What a marvelous entry.


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