Connection is the name of the game for Jody Shakespeare. Bringing people together over good conversation, getting to know her clients and vendors, and providing each person with a crisp, cold beer in their hand are the things that motivates Jody’s business, Tapped Events.
With the desire to provide beer and cider on tap at any size event, Jody and her husband, Rob, created a mobile tap bar business, which offers a fleet of three options to her clients: The Tapped Truck, The Tapped Trailer, and The Tapped Trolley. Each rental boasts a fully stocked mobile bar with chilled drinks on tap that can go wherever the party is, delivering not only cold beverages but a memorable experience for guests too.
Creating Tapped Events, which initially started as The Tapped Truck but has evolved as the fleet and service offering has expanded, has been a labour of love for Jody. She saw an opportunity to fill a gap in event options, serving events from food truck festivals to weddings to small get-togethers, and she knew she could provide a rare opportunity that would not only serve chilled beverages on tap, but would also get people talking.
“My favourite thing about Tapped Events is how easy it is to connect with people over it: it’s the ultimate ice breaker,” Jody explained. “People are always curious to chat about a beer truck, and always have a story to share about a truck that they’ve had in their life. It’s pretty awesome!”
She has a vast and diverse network of influencers whom she has learned from over the years, each offering experienced advice or support for her at different stages of her working career. One mentor in particular, a Managing Director based out of Calgary, has been the most influential, constantly empowering her to embrace her strengths and think bigger, while also offering sage advice and challenging her to look at problems from multiple perspectives. This sounding board, combined with the advice of her other industry connections, has helped her refine her approach and vision for what has ultimately become a unique and wildly successful company.
“We are always looking at what growth opportunities we want to chase, and we’ve mapped out a pretty comprehensive strategic roadmap. We definitely want the Tapped experience to be more widely available!” Jody and her husband (along with the boss of the house, their Bernese Mountain Dog, Maddie) may brew their own beer at home, but it isn’t served through the company — they just enjoy it with their family and friends in their personal time. While it is a common misconception that Tapped Events brews and serves their own beer, instead they tap up to 10 types of beer at a time from popular brands or local craft breweries. But the company also offers more than just beer: it can serve ciders, kombucha, craft soda, and even craft cocktails on tap. There are many products readily available in kegs so that she is not limited to only serving beer, although it is her first love.
Jody’s easy going personality naturally draws people to her, and, combined with her passion for slingin’ suds and connecting with other people, she effortlessly creates a sense of community wherever she goes. She is always open to meeting new people and thrives on drawing out the unique greatness that she knows each person has to offer. After all, what better way is there to tap into conversation than with a cold beer in your hand?
- Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Gosh that’s a tough question. I bet my grade school yearbook woulda said something about being a teacher.
- Who was the biggest influence in your career?
There have been so many, and typically close to home: I’ve been so lucky to work with smart people, and every engagement brings with it a truckload of learning. The most influential though continues to be a Managing Director I worked with in Calgary. He encouraged me to embrace my strengths, and step into my power. But he also challenged me to look at problems from multiple perspectives, and always encouraged me to think bigger. At first, I thought the goals he pushed me to shoot for wer overzealous…I would learn that he clearly saw what I was capable of and wouldn’t let me settle for less. He continues to be my number one call: whenever I need a fresh set of eyes to give me a new view of things or whenever I need some worldly advice. He continues to influence me today.
- What’s a typical day like for you?
I start my morning getting outside, taking the boss of the home (Maddie is a Bernese Mountain Dog) for a walk. This is the quiet time and movement I need to get my day started. Then, I log-on right away. Get my overnight messages cleared (I always put my phone into a kitchen drawer at night, so I don’t look at it until 730am or so), and then set out on my day. Most days that includes a fair amount of virtual meetings: living from the Shuswap does not mean that we are disconnected from metro city opportunities…technology is grand! Maddie then usually calls me for a walk around lunch. And I try and hop on the spin bike in the afternoon. Then I’ll respond to anything left outstanding and log-off for the day. That’s right, I try to keep my phone on silent: that balance is very important to me.
- Where do you see your business in two years? Five years?
For Tapped Events, this year is going to be very different than we forecasted, which has forced us to pivot. We anticipate regular virtual events in the fall and winter will be a large driver for us, and help us make up for a much smaller festival and wedding season. We are always looking at what growth opportunities we want to chase, and we’ve mapped out a pretty comprehensive strategic roadmap. We definitely want the Tapped experience to be more widely available!
- What do you like most about your business?
How easy it is to connect with people over it: it’s the ultimate ice breaker! People are always curious to chat about a beer truck, and always have a story to share about a truck that they’ve had in their life. It’s pretty awesome!
- What is something most people don’t know about your business?
That we are not a brewery, and we don’t only pour beer. People definitely get to thinking we brew our own suds: while we do at home, at Tapped Events we provide the vehicle for service…literally! And it’s not just beer: there are so many products readily available in kegs that we are not limited to beer (although for sure that’s our passion). We can serve ciders, kombucha, craft soda even craft cocktails on tap!
- Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
I’m a master at finding bomb places to eat. What can I say? I’m highly food motivated…Maddie and I have lots in common.
- List three words that you describe you.
Bold. Firestarter. Human connector. (I guess that’s 4 ha)
- How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
As a community builder. I love connecting talented people, sharing ideas and knowledge. It’s about tapping into the greatness of humans all over the place and connecting them so that we can all be better…it’s about multiplying greatness.
- What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
I’m studying for my Cicerone at the moment. I’d really like to get through my American beer studies before the year is done.
- What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
Honestly, my life is not that complicated, and I find so much joy in the simple things. I love spending time with my husband, my dog. Lake life is amazing, and living here keeps me happy. Spending time on the golf course, on the lake or just in the backyard around the campfire. Life is good!
- How do you want people to remember you?
I want people to remember me for my love of life, and positive energy. My ability to find the light, to see gratitude…even when things are heavy. There is so much opportunity everywhere.