The Congressional stalemate has claimed its latest casualty: beer.
The craft beer industry is overseen by the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau. The TTB is charge of approving labels for new beer products sold across state lines and inspection for new breweries. Consequently, new beer and new business are not rolling out during the shutdown.
This also affects the overall economy since craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs, according to the Brewers Association. The group also reports that craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels of beer in 2012.
Stone Brewing Co. in California has new beers that have not yet been released because the labels submitted to the TTB have not been approved. Kegs also require labels. Greg Koch the CEO and co-Founder of Stone Brewing Co. says, “Literally, we are faced with potentially having tens of thousands worth of beer that we are unable to sell.”
Even a short-lived government closing takes its toll. According to Koch, “I think it is irresponsible for our leaders to be using the shutdown as a negotiating platform when people’s livelihoods are at stake.”
Beer drinkers and makers alike are voicing their distaste for the shutdown and its non-beneficial alcohol consumption consequences on social media platforms, such as Twitter.
Is beer the final frontier in your tolerance for the shutdown, or had you already reached your tippling point? Crack open a tall one and let your thoughts flow in the comments below.
Wynn Westmoreland | CNN