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SEMA 2014 Preview - Ballast Point Kia Sedona Beer Wagon

On Tap: Ballast Point brews up a very special beer wagon

John Naderi
Nov 3, 2014

Ballast Point Kia Sedona Preview Details:
  • Kia & Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits create 2015 Sedona Beer Wagon
  • LGE*CTS Motorsports tasked with building the rolling beer tap
  • Project will also sport a fishing theme
  • Other features include custom wood paneling, jockey box & room for 4 kegs

The SEMA Show is an unadulterated exercise in excess. This is encouraged by the fact that it goes down in the city of Sin (Sin being an erotic dancer from Henderson). Do you really need an all you can eat cheesecake buffet? You already know the answer to that one, tubby.

Sedona prepped for paint.JPG Photo 2/33   |   Thank you, 2015 Sedona, for giving of yourself so that we may enjoy a frosty cup (or four) of Ballast Point beer.

Most SEMA Show feature vehicles follow a similar theme (one of excess, not cheesecake). Brodozers lifted with more reservoir volume than Lake Mead sprout up from the convention center floor like so many AT-AT walkers. These too are no doubt equally susceptible to the perils of a common tow cable. At the other end of the spectrum is That Guy. You know, the one that gives us all a bad name, rolling a hatch slammed on bags with an anatomically impossible anime girl hood graphic and enough negative camber to make you question why. Honestly, why?

Kegs in cargo hold.JPG Photo 3/33   |   Don't panic, when all is said and done, there will be two more kegs back there.

Aside from creating some IG-worthy fodder that include the requisite hashtags - #lol, #wtf, #fail and possibly even #wcw, if you're into that sort of thing - what do these builds do for the rest of us? Nothing. Like an anime girl delivered to our doorstep, Kia has answered our prayers with not one, but two ambitious SEMA projects that give us what we really want - ice cream and beer.

Framework.JPG Photo 4/33   |   The framework allows the Sedona to raise the roof, so to speak.

Kia took the food truck and turned it up to 11 with these two builds. The Smitten Slinger is an ice cream parlor on wheels that started life as a 2015 Soul EV. While the Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Beer Wagon you see here was once a very refined, very luxurious 2015 Sedona with a 276 hp, 3.3-liter Lambda-II GDI V6.

Kegs.JPG Photo 5/33   |   Just enough room for a designated driver, as long that driver isn't us. Hey, somebody needs to drink the beer.

Smitten and Ballast Point were founded on the same premise that Kia has applied to these functastic food trucks. Both rejected the status quo by asking if there's a better way to create something. For Ballast Point, that craft began with a home brewing hobby that blossomed into an obsession to simply make a better beer.

South african mahogany.JPG Photo 6/33   |   Look closely, those are three-inch strips of South African mahogany, painstakingly glue-lam'd together.

LGE*CTS Motorsports in San Dimas, California started from the same humble beginnings as a successful body shop that grew to create custom fabrications, restorations and all around wild builds. Today, many of the top manufacturers turn to LGE*CTS to turn their SEMA project dreams into reality. However, Kia's dream of a 2015 Sedona beer wagon is grander than most.

Shape matched.JPG Photo 7/33   |   The wooden rear hatch was made to match the shape of the Sedona.

This is definitely one of the more complex builds we've ever done, because it's out of our typical realm," explained Theresa Contreras, the project manager at LGE*CTS. "Typically we do paint, suspension, wheels and tires, and maybe a couple of modifications. This build is comprised of chopping off the roof, making new framework, etc. There's a lot engineering involved as far as the clamshell concept, with a wood top that opens up into a mobile unit that dispenses beer."

Test panel.JPG Photo 8/33   |   Theresa laid some paint and graphics on a test panel to achieve the look she wanted.

Because the Ballast Point crew loves fishing almost as much as brewing, many of their beers are named for fish with like-minded labels. Theresa and the LGE*CTS team continued this theme onto the Beer Wagon.

Sedona paint booth rear.JPG Photo 9/33   |   The Sedona is ready for paint, while we're ready for a nap.

Joe Marino from Highline Cabinets created custom wood panels, starting with three-inch strips of South African mahogany, painstakingly glue-laminated together. The finished product looks and feels very nautical, like that of a Chris Craft boat (ahoy!)

Spraying paint.JPG Photo 10/33   |   Just think, Theresa, only 200 more hours of this and you're done!

In addition to being the project manager, Theresa is also the resident custom painter at LGE*CTS. When all is said and done, she will have put in more than 200 hours of work into the custom paint that includes reproductions of much of the Paul Elder artwork from the Ballast Point labels.

Painted.JPG Photo 11/33   |   Now it's starting to look like a Ballast Point Beer Wagon.

This is all impressive, but we really want to know how to get that tasty Ballast Point nectar from the Sedona into our bellies. To this end, the Beer Wagon will be equipped with a jockey box (essentially a cooler filled with 120-feet of coil to chill the beer) and a gray water tank. But the most important part is the four Ballast Point kegs residing beneath the taps.

Divers helmet.JPG Photo 12/33   |   Diver from the Ballast Point Fathom IPA label looks like he's trying to tell us something. What's that, diver, you want us to drink your tasty beer? Don't mind if we do.

We'll be interested to see how it all works, including a proper tasting to ensure the beer is cold enough. You know, for science. Take a gander at the build pics to see what LGE*CTS has been brewing.

By John Naderi
34 Articles

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