Government shutdown affecting local breweries

Hangar 24 Double Betty

Hangar 24 Double Betty

"There's a lot of guys that are coming out with new beers literally every week so they're going to have to rely on some of their old staples and just keep producing those".

"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.

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

That's because workers inside the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms have been furloughed. That's a problem for beermakers like Joe Katchever, owner and brewmaster of Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis.

"We are pushed to innovate constantly, and right now we probably have 12 to 15 beers that are on hold because of the shutdown", said Dave Taylor, marketing director for Oskar Blues. Katchever and his team brewed something special for their big anniversary party. I think about all the spring releases that are going to be coming out soon. "So for beers that brewers want to release in February or March, a lot of them are trying to rush their paperwork in now, just so they don't get stuck having to wait months".

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That means that neither that enthusiastic former home-brewer who was set to launch a new beer label nor your favorite local brewery or distillery can bring new products to market for now.

On Friday, Senator Richard Blumenthal is expected to visit Thomas Hooker Brewery for a roundtable discussion to hear concerns about the current issue from brewers across the state.

"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.

How is the Government shutdown affecting brewers in CT and around the country? 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.

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