How The Government Shutdown Affects The Alcohol Industry


Cat Wolinski

With the high possibility of Trump’s government shutdown headed into its third week, many must not consider the shutdown being capable of its effects on other industries. We know right away that the biggest specialties like the IRS and National Park Services are not expected to be working in full service, and USPS and TSA are putting in half the effort despite payment. But what about the alcohol industry?

At first glance, it may not seem like something to worry about right away. However, this is actually something that could affect the amount of bottles that you find in store next month.

See, back in December, the shutdown temporarily closed the doors of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). TTB is in charge of approving beer labels and brewery applications throughout the nation. With the closure, applicants could be in for a long wait on approval for new brewery locations throughout the mid-West and the delay of specific beer brands and their products.

Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association, provided a statement for the article:

Breweries in planning can [also] be affected, depending on how long the shutdown continues. “[S]ince permits are the first step in the process, it probably won’t affect most of them unless the shutdown drags on for a few months,” Watson writes. “But for a brewery that has started paying rent [or] buying equipment, it could certainly risk jeopardizing their investment if we have a long shutdown.”

City Barrel Brewing says there will be a delay of three beers in February because of the shutdown, and another brewery is dependent on revenue next month and the shutdown is ruining that.

At this point, all they are forced to do, all any of us are forced to do, is sit and wait. It’s no patient wait obviously, but it’ll have to do for now.

To read the rest of the article and see who else is affected, please do not hesitate to click here.