SMART leaves businesses out of loop

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Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma receives three train cars per week full of malted barley from Canada to make its popular IPA, Little Sumpin' Sumpin' and Imperial Stout beers.

The grain travels more than 1,000 miles over rails to reach Petaluma but then stops less than a mile short of the Lagunitas brewery, where it is loaded onto trucks and is driven the rest of the way south on McDowell Boulevard.

This final bit of logistical gymnastics is necessary despite Lagunitas Brewing's location along the train tracks.

The property historically had a rail spur — a kind of driveway off the main tracks into the plant to facilitate freight cars. But that connection was not restored when contractors rebuilt the rail line to prepare for commuter train service in 2016.

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