Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Shutdown could slow flow of new craft beer

How the Shutdown Could Affect Your Beer | NBC 4 New York Local brewers feel effects from government shutdown
Jean Garcia | 14 January, 2019, 20:25

USA -based breweries have become an unexpected casualty of the federal government shutdown.

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.

That's because workers inside the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms have been furloughed.

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

21, the TTB had received 192,279 label applications since the start of 2018. That breaks down to about 3,000 applications coming in every week. That's a problem for beermakers like Joe Katchever, owner and brewmaster of Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis. Even when that happens, it will take months for the TTB to catch up on the backlog.

KIRWAN: So hard that it could easily start to affect the bottom line as breweries across the country worry about what to do with all of their craft beer if they can't bottle and sell it.

"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.

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

Owners there say they have a lot to look forward to.

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

GATZA: For beers that brewers want to release sometime in February or March, a lot of them are trying to rush their paperwork in now just so they don't get stuck having to wait months when the shutdown ends.

CRAIG PURSER: Doesn't matter what the size of the company is when nobody's answering the phone.

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.

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