Malt via railcar
I have an opportunity to purchase a building and property for a production brewery with acres of room for future expansion. The property backs to an active rail line and the owner has paperwork from the railroad stating that a spur could be put in for service. The building is already set up for it, it is probably over 100 years old and was originally built with rail delivery in mind. My question is, are any of you having ingredients like malt delivered by railcar and if so, what level production did you reach when it made sense to switch from using trucking firms to rail?
Cost of installation of a rail spur to service one solitary business could prove to be prohibitive.
Lbs. of malt in a railcar (round numbers): 150,000
Lbs. of malt per bbl beer (round numbers): 50
so one railcar brews (round numbers) 3,000 bbls.
There is a significant freight savings but it would seem you'd need a lot of railcars to pay for a new spur. It would probably start to make sense somewhere in the range of 50k-100k bbls per year.
Don't forget about the silo or 2 you will need and malt handling equipment.
I've thought of locating a brewery similarly. I would buy 2 used railcars ( not as expensive as you might think) and use them as my silo. I would have one car on the spur at a time while the other is off to the malt house (takes longer than you might think) Would probably need a small buffer silo too. I agree with previous post that laying track is very expensive. Site would need to have track in place. Unless possible help from industrial development agency?