Government Shutdown Affects Local Breweries


AFTON, Va. -- The government shutdown is having an impact on the big business of beer and wine. It is even affecting some local breweries.

As a result of the shutdown, a federal agency called the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, is closed. The agency approves new breweries, recipes and labels.

Mandi and Taylor Smack, co-owners of Blue Mountain Brewery, said this is a major problem because this is typically their busiest time of the year.

"Labels that we need to get federally approved are being held up in the process now," said Taylor Smack.

The Smacks said that without the government's stamp of approval, it is illegal for their company to sell any new beer.

"We have beer that has been brewed. It is in the tanks, but because of the government shutdown, we can't legally sell it, and it shuts down production," said Taylor Smack.

As a result, the company has come to somewhat of a halt.

"We have enough labels being held up that it is lost revenue for sure, and it is lost production. For our hourly employees, it could also mean fewer hours," said Taylor Smack.

The Smacks said that because Blue Mountain Brewery is already well-established, this will be nothing more than an inconvenience. However, for other new breweries, the shutdown has created a major struggle.

"They are just waiting on their license, and it's not going to happen anytime soon," said Mandi Smack.

Smack said there are also worries over how long the backup will be once the government finally reopens.

'It is one of the million ways the shutdown is affecting us that we are not really thinking about," said Taylor Smack.


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