Government Shutdown Brewing Trouble For Craft Beer Makers
The partial federal government shutdown could brew trouble for some local craft beer companies in the northwest metro.
Michael Campbell, owner of Blue Wolf Brewing Company in Brooklyn Park, said the government shutdown, now on day 24, does not affect his business. At least not yet.
“Because we only sell out of our taproom, doesn’t impact us a whole lot. But it does impact the industry,” said Campbell, who has brewing beer for more than 20 years.
Federal workers with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau remain furloughed. Their job includes approving new formulas and beer labels.
“You have to have federal approval of those labels to make sure those claims you’re making on the label are accurate and correct,” explained Campbell.
Shutdown Impacting New Beer Releases
The government stalemate especially impacts larger breweries who sell their products in liquor stores or ship beer across state lines.
“These beers can’t go anywhere at this point, if they’re not already registered and approved. Those breweries are waiting for those approvals before they’re allowed to sell those products in the market place,” said Campbell.
While Blue Wolf does not traditionally bottle beer, Campbell says his company will consider releasing a special limited edition beer to celebrate its one-year anniversary. However, the shutdown could prevent that from happening because the bottles would require labels.
“You don’t want to mess around too much with a government agency,” said Campbell. “Those individual beers may not be able to come out because they don’t have a way of being approved to put that product on the shelf.”
The shutdown also impacts new establishments waiting for permits. New companies will have to delay opening dates because there’s no one to issue permits.