Breweries Feel Government Shutdown Effects

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CLEVELAND -- Craft brewers are not very happy with Congress right now.

The government shutdown is keeping them from expanding their businesses.

"In this industry, we are at a halt right now until they can get this sorted out," said Patrick Daniels.

He's a brewer for Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland. It's his job to make the beer, but it doesn't stop there. He's also in charge of creating new recipes and getting them approved through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

"Anywhere where you have a tap handle that represents your brand or a beer bottle you have in an aisle, that has to be approved at the federal level," said Daniels.

Daniels said the process can take months and now it's beginning to get even longer, all because of the government shutdown.

"For a lot of people out there, it's kind of a waste of time to send in these applications when no one is really receiving them," said Daniels.

Like many federal agencies, TTB isn't getting the funding it needs to stay open and it will remain that way until Congress decides to pass a new spending bill.

"If we have a batch of beer, we like to serve it fresh, obviously, and get it out there. But if this goes on for months and we can't get it into stores or a restaurant can't receive it because the approval hasn't come to us, then many breweries might have to dump that product out," said Daniels.

He hopes Congress will strike a deal sooner rather than later so his brewery and others can continue to grow.

"We are actually expanding into production very soon, so the paperwork and all the applications are going to start coming up and we need them to be approved in order to move forward," he said.

Click here for continuing coverage on the government shutdown.

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