Converted fire truck giving away free pints as pub on wheels - here's how to get one

Desperate for a pub-quality pint? A former fire truck is coming to the rescue after being converted into a bar on wheels.

It’s been four months since North East pubs have been able to pull a proper pint for customers, but pub boss Chris Joyce from The Mill House in Springwell Village has come up with a way to get people all fired up until bars can open again – by giving away free beer.

The South Shields businessman and his business partner Connor Robinson bought a 1985 Land Rover Defender former fire truck from a classic car website and have adapted it to hold four kegs with pumps.

Once a vital vehicle in helping to put out fires, the retired Fire & Rescue vehicle is now helping to wet whistles by serving pints of Moretti, Guinness, Dark Fruits Cider and Beavertown IPA.

The new Bait and Beer venture

Anyone across the North East can book the Bait And Beer mobile pub which will serve pints for free to households on driveways, complete with flashing sirens, up until March 6, after which it will be £4.50 a pint.

Since launching their private hire venture a fortnight ago, the pair have already served close to a thousand free pints.

Connor said: “The response so far has been class. People love it when we pull up on the driveway with the lights flashing.”

Chris said: “People don’t think we’re serious when we say we’re giving away free beer, but people haven’t been able to go to pubs for so long and we wanted to do something that made them happy. And what better way than free beer?

Chris Joyce, left, and business partner Connor Robinson with their Bait and Beer fire engine.

"We’ve done a few birthdays that people have had within their households and it’s really made their day.”

As restrictions are lifted further in the coming weeks, it’s hoped the truck will be booked for weddings, private events and gigs. It will also be serving street food, hence the Bait and Beer name.

In the meantime, the classic car is set to be a star attraction when The Mill House reopens for outdoor food and drink from April 12.

Chris says the pub has already been inundated with booking enquiries since Boris Johnson’s roadmap was announced, outlining a phased reopening of the country.

You can book the truck to serve free beer until March 6, after that it's £4.50.

The businessman took over the landmark pub, which hit the headlines when a fire tore through it in 2018, in 2019 and completely renovated it before reopening the doors in December 2019.

Trade was doing well, but it was only open three months before the country went into lockdown in March 2020.

He says it’s great that so many people are keen to come back and support their local businesses.

"We have 110 booked for outside on April 12 already, and 400 for that weekend,” he said. “We’ve had hundreds of enquiries since the Government announcement and it’s great that there’s that appetite there. We can’t wait to be back serving people.”

The retired fire engine has been converted to hold four beer kegs, each holding 88 pints.

To book the Bait and Beer fire truck to serve free pints in an allocated time slot, for a minimum of an hour and a half, on your driveway visit the website

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The pair bought the 1985 Land Rover Defender fire engine from a classic cars website.
Connor Robinson with the converted fire engine
There's four different drinks on draught, including Guinness