Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Economy | By

Government shutdown impacts brewery business

Government shutdown impacts brewery business

Blue Blood Brewing is working on 18 beers for the spring, all of which are now untapped, as they wait for the government to re-open.

The shutdown only impacts new beers that will be sold out of state. That breaks down to about 3,000 applications coming in every week. We're going to take the next couple of minutes to talk about one of them - the craft beer industry.

All labels have to be approved by the federal government. He owns Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis., which is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month.

Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, estimates half of the craft breweries in the US are in a similar position.

"I still kind of feel worse for the people who actually work for the TTB that are considered non essential and all of a sudden they don't have jobs right now", said Snyder. I think about all the spring releases that are going to be coming out soon.

"If you are a brewery that is trying to release a new brand or a seasonal beer release right now, you won't be able to get your label approved", said Leia Bailey with the California Craft Brewers Association. But after almost three weeks of being shut down, the bureau is likely to have a huge backlog of applications waiting when the government reopens.

While they wait, Wilmoth says he's staying positive.

Hooker won't mass produce the beers it needs approval on just yet.

Craig Purser, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, said large alcohol companies and their distributors rely on the same services from TTB that craft producers use. The work stops. And it really puts the beer industry at a disadvantage as it relates to innovation, as it relates to new products being introduced, new labels being approved.

Among the federal employees deemed "non-essential" and otherwise on hiatus during the partial federal government shutdown are those from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which approves most new beer labels.

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