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

14 January, 2019, 20:25 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • B.C. alternative folk band Shred Kelly plays at Polar Park Brewing Company in late 2018

"If we wanted to release that out to say OH or New Jersey or Maryland or Pennsylvania we can't get that approved right now to do that", he tells WRDE. Paperwork for new locations in Texas and North Carolina are also delayed during the government shutdown. And that's a problem for beer makers like Joe Katchever.

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.

Pearl Street is celebrating its 20th anniversary in February, and Katchever's team brewed something special for the big anniversary party. "So you won't be able to release that beer right now".

That's because the federal agency that approves brewery labels is closed, a result of the government shutdown.

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


This rule only applies to breweries when shipping beer outside the state, and the both breweries say they still plan to have new beers on tap, in their beer halls, in order to not waste any product.

"It's that first step and if they don't have that they can't move forward", Bailey said. Otherwise, the beer might just sit in the tanks.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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. 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.

Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, estimates half of the craft breweries in the USA are in a similar position. For NPR News, I'm Hope Kirwan in La Crosse.

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