WISCONSIN (WKOW)-- Wisconsin breweries have been feeling the effects of the government shutdown. A little known agency called the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau or TTB is in charge of approving new products for market.
For breweries like Capital, who have plans to submit a new label next Tuesday, the TTB is in charge of approving them before they can be sold.
"It's going to delay our launch of our Dark Voyage and that is going to hurt us," Capital Brewery Vice President of Sales Corey Wehling says. "Our distributors and retailers are counting on that."
Late last week the Wisconsin Department of Revenue announced they are stepping up to approve new labels for beers made in Wisconsin. Brewers who distribute in Wisconsin will be able to have their labels approved without relying on the federal government.
Even though the Wisconsin Department of Revenue has decided to streamline the process for new labels, the new recipe approval process is still on hold until the federal government is back up and running.
"When you submit a recipe, especially if it's got a food product in it, for example pumpkin beer or an apple beer, those are regulated very closely because there are food additives," Wehling says.
Capital is currently experimenting with a few recipes right now, but they're not submitting them for approval just yet. Other local breweries like New Glarus and Ale Asylum say the shutdown shouldn't impact their operations.
The Wisconsin Brewing Company, one of the newer local breweries, says they were fortunate enough to get approval just weeks before the shutdown. Had the paperwork not gone through they surely would have missed their November 1st release date.
Other much smaller operations are in dire straights as thousands of dollars are lost while waiting to get their recipes approved.
According to the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry saw a 17% growth last year. They're hoping the government shutdown won't slow down that momentum and hurt hundreds of brewers who are just entering the market.
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