Government Shutdown Affecting Small Breweries

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MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) – Local breweries are being affected by the government shutdown thanks to a little known government agencies being forced to cut back.

There are suds a plenty foaming up glass at Pig Minds Brewery in Machesney Park but general manager Carson Souza says that may not be the case for startup breweries thanks to the government shutdown.

“It’s very difficult to have labels stop or denied due to a federal shutdown,” said Souza.

“The idea that these guys have to wait,” said patron Kurt Wiesend, “to get me the product that I want is absolutely ridiculous.”

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approve applications for breweries, their recipes, and labels but since the shutdown they’re struggling to approve anything at all for new applicants.

Breweries like Pig Minds already have a line of beers that they sell so they’re not affected by the shutdown as much as startup companies will be. Some companies don’t have labels approved so they can’t distribute.

“There’s product to be moved; people that need to be paid; families that need to eat,” said Souza. “If the government just goes and decides to shut down the hard working craft brewer, it’s pretty difficult.”

Souza says he hopes his counterparts are able to weather the storm.

“Hopefully at the end of the day this all clears up and it doesn’t stop the small man from trying to be successful,” said Souza.

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