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Government Shutdown Stalls Craft Beer Production

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Photo: Beaufort's TheDigitel/Flickr
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

It looks like the government shutdown is taking its toll on craft breweries as well as restaurants. According to the Associated Press, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is responsible for approving new breweries, recipes, and labels. Because of the government shutdown, these duties aren't being performed, which is putting strain on small breweries across the country that are looking to open or looking to release new beers (like seasonal Fall beers).

The processing delays can result in major costs for the breweries. Brenner Brewing in Milwaukee had been planning for a December opening, but is unable to continue filing the necessary paperwork. The owner tells the AP that he estimates each month the opening is delayed will cost $8,000. For breweries that are already established, the delays in label approvals could mean increased costs on rushing the new beers to market when that approval is finally received. In South Carolina, the State reports that the brewers at Conquest can't begin bottling (and selling) their debut beer. Apparently the shutdown has less of an impact on massive brewing companies like Anheuser-Busch, since they can continue to produce their already existing products. Below, an AP video featuring interviews with brewers who have experienced major delays because of the shutdown:

Video: Shutdown Makes Craft Brewer Taps Run Dry

· Shutdown Means No New Beer from Craft Brewers [AP]
· Government Shutdown Puts Stopper in SC Craft Beer Boom [State]
· All Shutdown Coverage on Eater [-E-]