Local breweries impacted by government shutdown

Local breweries impacted by government shutdown
New labels and formulas for beers and wines that are sent in for approval are not being reviewed.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you love new beers and wines, you are not going to like this news.

A federal agency called the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is closed because of the government shutdown.

That means that new labels and formulas for beers and wines that are sent in for approval are not being reviewed.

The shutdown is now the third longest in U.S. history at 16 days.

Breweries in the area say they imagine there is now a backlog of applications from all the brewers in the area who are trying to get out new products.

“Most of our beers we make are new beers, we rarely brew the same beer twice,” said Philip McLamb.

McLamb owns Resident Culture, a new brewery in Plaza Midwood, one of many in the area.

“There’s a lot of great beer coming out of North Carolina and specifically Charlotte,” said Craig Nunn, owner of Blue Blaze Brewing in Charlotte.

But a lot of that beer is stuck in progress without approvals going through for it to be sold.

“It’s a frustrating process to go through for our bills to be going up and the current government shutdown to be affecting the timing of label approval,” said McLamb.

Usually when local breweries want to offer a new beer, they come up with a design and submit that label for approval. However, with the government being shut down, the agency that usually approves these is not running so breweries can’t get out new beers.

“Getting the label or bottle approved and that’s kind of at a standstill right now," said McLamb. "We have two festivals we need label approvals for in January and a couple in February and it’s gonna be really annoying if we can’t.”

The agency that approves all labels and formulas for new beers and wines is called the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

“We were going to send to a wide range of places including South Carolina and we’re kind of stuck waiting until we know more,” said Nunn.

Breweries say they work across state lines often because North and South Carolina are so close, but have to have federal approval for their products when they do that.

“I don’t see how they can expect breweries to not do their business, not run their business because they’re shut down. nobody else is coming a to halt,” said McLamb.

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