The Anonymous Chicago Railyard That Keeps Your Beer From Freezing

Illustration for article titled The Anonymous Chicago Railyard That Keeps Your Beer From Freezing

A near-sub-zero Chicago suburb seems like an unlikely place to find railroad cars full of Mexican beer. But, on any given night at Proviso Yard in Northlake, Illinois, the on-duty conductors are responsible for ensuring that up to 64,000 cases of Corona, Modelo Especial, Pacifico, and Victoria from Piedras Negras (via a massive warehouse nearby) don't freeze up in the frigid air. Slush is okay; ice—which occurs at 13 degrees fahrenheit—is not.


Crain's Chicago Business has a neat profile of Bill Diamond, who's been a railroad man for 37 years. Diamond keeps the cars moving when the temperatures drop. Once they arrive at the yard, he suits up—steel-toed boots in plastic bags in rubber boots, and layers of windbreakers, quilted jackets, fleece-lined hats, and a strategic winter beard to keep the face warm—after which he goes about sorting the cars with a remote-controlled operator belt before they're unloaded. Unfortunately, the article doesn't say what would happen if a car were really to freeze. Skunked suds? Foamy explosion? Lager glacier?

Anyway, it's probably not the backstory you pictured for your cerveza! It would be pretty fascinating to track a single bottle from its origins to the south on its journey to the fridge at your local grocery; I'm guessing there are quite a few more interesting stops like this one along the way. [Chicago Business]


Photo by Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock

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My job is gym flooring. We recently worked on a project where they converted a beer warehouse to a sports facility. The building has 2 full indoor soccer fields, two full basketball courts, and three volleyball courts + hallways and more. They told me they because it was in the bay area they were required to keep 72hrs of beer on hand incase of an earthquake. It all had to do with the bridges and if the bridges went down how long they would need to get trucks from out of the area to refill peninsula beer supplies. Crazy organization. Great people to work with.