Government Shutdown ‘Could Have Significant Impacts’ on California’s Breweries

14 January, 2019, 20:23 | Author: Regina Silva
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"Seems silly to us that we can't actually do what we want to do and provide fresh innovated craft beer to the consumer because somebody in Washington didn't get along", Taylor said. "There's a lot of guys that are coming out with new beers literally every week so they're going to have to rely on some of their old staples and just keep producing those".

The Alaska-based Midnight Sun Brewing Company offers a limited edition can program, which features a new one-time-only brew, but beer lovers in the Lower 48 likely will not be getting a taste of the "Winter Warm, Dark Night" batch anytime soon.

Both breweries say they anticipate at least a 45 day wait for label approval even after the government re-opens, as the agency becomes even more backlogged. That's because the agency that approves brewery labels can't do its job.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He owns Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis., which is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month. "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".

Now only about a quarter of the state's craft breweries ship beer out of state. Well, a lot of them won't be coming out.

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The TTB doesn't just handle beer, it oversees all alcohol, including wine.

Craft breweries are in fierce competition with each other for innovative new beers.

Industry leaders say this backlog of applications is also a concern for large beermakers in the U.S.

KIRWAN: And it's not just craft breweries that are being affected by the shutdown. "[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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