Distillery feeling effects of partial government shutdown

SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Because of the partial government shutdown, some breweries and distilleries are having trouble getting approval for new products.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, is one of the agencies closed due to the shutdown. The TTB is responsible for collecting federal excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco, firearms and ammunition.

The bureau is also responsible for looking at tobacco permitting and alcohol permitting, labeling, and marketing requirements — That's something Filibuster Distillery in Mauretown is feeling.

Filibuster Distillery's Production Manager, Jesse Puckett, said the distillery submitted a few new labels they've been working on since December to the agency for approval.

Puckett said the shutdown came with bad timing, including delaying them from moving forward with their new products.

"We have to wait to either be approved or denied, and make the adjustments required," said Puckett. "So it's kind of holding us up as far as our product line goes."

Waiting for approval can take a while, even when the government is not shut down.

Filibuster Distillery can keep selling its pre-existing products, but they're still worried about the bottom line.

"We have a lot of government infrastructure here," explained Puckett, "so if our consumers are feeling the affects of the shutdown then that's going to translate to our sales."

Puckett said the good news is shelf life won't be a problem with the products they're waiting to release, unlike with beer, which can cause huge problems for craft breweries waiting for label approval.

This kind of delay in permitting is similar to the effect the shutdown has had on WHSV receiving a permit from the FCC to restore service to our viewers in Page County. You can learn more about that here.