How the government shutdown is hurting a DC beer brewer

Furlough inside federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms stops approval process. That impacts local breweries like Bloomfield's Thomas Hooker Brewery

"Seems silly to us that we can't actually do what we want to do and provide fresh innovated craft beer to the consumer because somebody in Washington didn't get along", Taylor said.

That means People's won't be coming out with any new beers until the government re-opens.

Cameron, who makes close to 20 varieties of beer in his Bloomfield brewery said he and fellow beer makers all over the country will have to exercise some patience moving forward.

All labels have to be approved by the federal government.

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

"It's a super competitive business right now and every dollar we can get helps keep our employees employed, keeps the ingredients flowing so the whole business stems on a myriad of things", Williams says. That's a problem for beermakers like Joe Katchever, owner and brewmaster of Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis. Craig Purser heads the National Beer Wholesalers Association and says large beer makers in the USA are also anxious about the bureau being furloughed.


This rule only applies to breweries when shipping beer outside the state, and the both breweries say they still plan to have new beers on tap, in their beer halls, in order to not waste any product.

While they wait, Wilmoth says he's staying positive.

PAUL GATZA: Any products that need those government approvals are just kind of frozen on hold.

Industry leaders say this backlog of applications is also a concern for large beermakers in the U.S.

Now only about a quarter of the state's craft breweries ship beer out of state.

Breweries in our area could soon start to feel the effects of the government shutdown. "So the opportunity cost of what's sitting in that tank, we're not able to send it out and we're not able to fill that tank back up with another beer".

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