GENERIC: Beer

The reach of the government shutdown is extending into the beer industry, and it could mean missing out on new craft brews.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issues permits and labels for businesses to sell newly crafted beers.

With the government shutdown, breweries can’t get new products approved. That means no new beers.

Joe Osberger runs the Frankenmuth Brewery and has been in the beer business for more than a decade.

He said the shutdown could potentially harm new breweries who are just trying to get their business off the ground.

“It can be. It’s very detrimental to the new breweries because Michigan is a thriving craft brewery state. So anybody new that is in the process, they have no place to turn. They cannot open their doors,” Osberger said.

Osberger said longer running microbreweries like his won’t be affected, thanks to the large number of beers already made and labeled before the shutdown.

He said even though the shutdown may not be affecting their sale of beer, it’s still affecting the brewery in other ways.

“We don’t have a time process for getting a new beer out,” Osberger said.

New beers are typically made six months in advance. Osberger said they had planned to have a June release for a new beer but it has been pushed back because of the shutdown.

That means the brewery will not be able to craft new beers for now.

“We won’t even make it if we can’t put a label on it or sell it to the market,” Osberger said.

Breweries planning to open could be affected as well since they must first be licensed federally.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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