Barrel of Bass
Portland has Breweries and we like to play with our neighbors
When approached by Burnside Brew Company here in town we were already guilty of having these guys sponsor our open studio parties by keeping the beer flowing. Their head outside sales rep had us build the only one of a kind salesmen CoB which transported four twenty-two ounce sample bottles in a template of foam on one side and a Sealed boombox on the other. Stickered from all it’s travels we aptly named it Beer-Bo Baggins.
Armed with our love of the interesting the challenge was simple. Hey Ezra, “Go pick up this whiskey barrel and make it into something cool” I hustled over to see what I was going to get to work with. I loaded up a beautiful choice vessel and motored back to the studio where we quickly realized this wasn’t designed to be taken apart in any way. Especially cut right down the middle. We screwed every stave to the middle ring on both sides and began sawing it apart. It was full of charred wood and ash, no whiskey, but a serious whiskey odor. We then scraped the two halves clean enough to work with and began the head scratching.
Once we had taken some measurements and gotten the dimensions of a pony keg we created a substructure inside out of ¾” cabinet plywood. A circle cut to isolate each end from the middle, and a pedestal that would house the components and hold up the keg. We wanted it to hinge open in the middle so you can put new kegs in and out, and have a pump tap come out of the bung hole of the barrel so it would appear you were pumping beer straight from the cask.
We found some great vintage Kenwood speakers, and some bullet tweeters and we went to work. Each end got a 10” woofer and 4” midrange speaker. Then pointing out of the side were two bullet tweeters per side. The control panel was in the center toward the back and we hid a rechargeable battery system and 200W amp in the guts. All said and done it was not the easiest vessel to convert, but it sounds and looks like a million bucks. It’s hiding in the brewery over at Burnside Brewing Co. I bet if you go by and ask, they would be more than happy to let you have a peek. We built that for the low, low price of ten kegs of beer.