Craft beer drinkers of America, it’s time to start getting real upset about the government shutdown. Sure, if you’re one of the 800,000 people not getting a paycheck, you were probably already upset. Or if you’d been stuck in line at an airport or live in housing where a federal contract has expired or had a mortgage or farm aid application held up. But … beer!
Craft breweries come out with new beers regularly, and those labels require approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which is currently shut down. New breweries also can’t open without the federal permits they need. And when the government does re-open, whenever that is, there will be a backlog of applications that will take additional time to sort through.
“All the plans that brewers have for 2019 will get thrown out the window,” said the director of the Brewers Association. That seasonal beer you were looking forward to, and your favorite brewery was counting on a profit from? That might not be happening.
”I’ve been joking with people that if you’re going to want a new beer coming out pretty soon, you’re going to have to drink your brother-in-law’s home brew,” one brewer said. But how much of a joke is it, really?