Government Shutdown Brewing Trouble for Breweries
SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — The partial government shutdown is delaying some breweries from starting up or from putting new craft beers on the market.
Some local brewers, including Shawnee Craft Brewing Company near Delaware Water Gap, need federal approval to sell new brews. But with the government shutdown, the one agency responsible for giving the OK is closed.
That means some craft beers are just chilling for the time being.
24 varieties of beer are brewed at Shawnee Craft Brewing Company with Jason Startari at the helm and the federal government overseeing his every move.
“There are some things you have to interact with as a brewery with the federal government. Filing for new recipes, filing for new labels, expanding your brewery, opening a new brewery, things like that,” said Startari, the manager of Shawnee Craft Brewing Company.
But the government shutdown is a buzz-kill for many brewing companies right now. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approves the new recipes, new labels, brew company expansions, and new breweries. But it’s closed due to the shutdown, which means some new breweries and new brews are just waiting around.
“It’s got to be tough for them, I’m sure it is. The general feedback time when filing with the federal government is already kind of long,” said Startari.
The information on the labels for Shawnee Craft Brewing Company had to be approved by the federal government before the beer could be sold. The current labels were just approved right before the government shutdown.
“Say, three months ago, if we were trying to make a new fall beer to release, and we were seeking label approval, we might be in limbo right now. We might be kind of stuck,” said Startari.
Right now, Shawnee Craft Brewing Company is not waiting for approval of any kind.