Government Shutdown Impacts Craft Breweries

How the Shutdown Could Affect Your Beer | NBC 4 New York

Craft beer drinkers in the US may see fewer new bottled beers coming out in the next few months.

All labels have to be approved by the federal government.

The TTB is closed right now because of the government shutdown.

That's because workers inside the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms have been furloughed. He owns Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis., which is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month.

But Katchever can't bottle the more than 500 cases of beer until his label gets approved by the bureau. We're going to take the next couple of minutes to talk about one of them - the craft beer industry. Katchever and his team brewed something special for their big anniversary party. "So, that backlog is going to take that two-to-four week process and probably make it four-to-eight weeks or maybe even longer depending on how long it takes for these guys to get back to work".

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That's bad news for craft beer brewers.

The TTB issues permits for new businesses to open, craft a new beer or wine, or create labeling for a product.

The springtime brew, which was originally planned for February 1 release, is "sitting in our tank now with nowhere to go because our label is in limbo with the TTB", says Atlas Brew Works CEO Justin Cox.

Hooker won't mass produce the beers it needs approval on just yet. "Well, a lot of them won't be coming out". "So the opportunity cost of what's sitting in that tank, we're not able to send it out and we're not able to fill that tank back up with another beer".

That's the agency that approves new beers and their labels before they hit the shelves and for local Lincoln breweries this unexpected hold-up is causing headaches. "[It] doesn't matter what the size of the company is; when nobody's answering the phone, the work stops and it really puts the beer industry at a disadvantage", Purser said.

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