By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(Nov. 16, 2023) Burley Oak Brewing Company will have a new look soon, with the installation of a 31.5-foot grain silo on the front of the building on Old Ocean City Road.
The grain silo was approved by the Berlin Planning Commission at its meeting last Wednesday.
The 48,000-lb. grain silo will help with employee safety, as employees will no longer be lifting and hauling bags of grain, according to Matthew Burrier, of Burley Oak.
Burrier said the brewery currently uses forklifts to pull pallets off a tractor-trailer bed, a process that takes about 30 minutes, with employees having to enter the roadway with the forklift.
According to Burley Oak’s application, their employees currently unload, move and break down roughly 227 pallets per year, weighing 2,200 lbs.
With the silo, the driver gets out of the truck and pulls the hose to the silo. The silo will be filled three to four times a year.
“It will be less intrusive than what we are doing now.”
Currently, the brewery gets grain delivery twice a month.Using a silo will also make for a greener brewhouse operation, with less pallet and plastic waste, brewery representatives said.
Originally, Burrier expected to be able to put the silo behind the building, but it was determined there is not enough space for a large truck to maneuver there to fill the silo.
To enhance the silo, Burrier said they will put the Burley Oak tree logo on it. Burrier agreed to not place any lighting on the silo. The logo will have to be approved by the commission at a later date.
“We want it to be as aesthetically pleasing to the property as much as possible,” Burrier said.
Members of the Planning Commission raised concerns about the impact the property has on Old Ocean City Road.
“Maybe this location is not big enough to accommodate what you want to do there. This might not be the right place. I don’t want to shoot an arrow in your business. But I don’t want to be like Ocean City with delivery trucks blocking all the roads,” Pete Cosby said.
“That road is going to get busier and busier. I’m concerned about okaying something that we have no control over once we okay it. That road was not designed for this to happen,” Ron Cascio said.
Cosby also expressed concern about the noise coming from the brewhouse.
“People on Grant Ave. listen to a lot of noise coming out of there. I would not tolerate it if I lived there. You better be thinking twice about how loud you are playing your music over there. You are right next to a residential neighborhood. You have to show some respect for people in their homes and backyards, not having to listen to a pounding base.”
The commission agreed to allow the brewhouse to have deliveries up to six times a year. If there is a need to go above that, the company will have to go before the planning commission for approval.