Government shutdown is closing the taps on new brews

Jan 8, 2019

The partial federal government shutdown continues, impacting everything from airport security to national parks and food stamps.

Even craft brewers are feeling the pinch.

Daniel Nothnagle, president and co-founder of Three Heads Brewing, says he can’t get the proper approval to label any new products because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau – the arm of the federal government that sets and approves labeling for beer -- is closed during the shutdown.

Credit threeheadsbrewing.com

“If your whole business is on new beers and you don’t have a flagship brand or a quality core, then I would think that some of those people are going to be more or greatly affected,” he said.  We’re effected but we’ll probably hang tough for a month or two, but if it does carry on, it could really effect what the whole industry does.”

Nothnagle says it normally takes several weeks to get federal approval for a new beer, so they’ve already had to cancel one new brew that was planned for introduction next month.

He says alcohol is a highly regulated industry, and if the federal government shutdown lasts more than just a few more weeks, it will really have a big impact on the brewing industry.