NewsLocal News


Local breweries in limbo during government shutdown

Beer can line
Posted at 5:34 AM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 08:34:10-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The federal agency that oversees permitting new breweries and beer labels has been closed during the partial government shutdown, creating uncertainty for many brewers.

In Carmel Mountain, Virginia Morrison, CEO and co-founder of Second Chance Beer Co., said the shutdown has been frustrating.

“I think it’s having broad consequences,” she said about the closure of the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, known as TTB.

Second Chance opened in 2015 but has been so successful locally, Morrison said they were planning on expanding to several other states this year. But without the TTB open, those plans have been put on hold.

The TTB must approve any new beer labels that are sold across state lines. Because of this, Second Chance will not be able to sell the special releases they had planned to sell to distributors in several other states.

“Those distributors are not going to find our brand nearly as attractive without giving them these limited releases,” said Morrison.

Even when the TTB does finally open, Morrison expects a backlog that could take months for the agency to clear. That delay in expanding to new states equates to potential lost revenue.

In a statement from the national Brewers Association, a spokesperson explained: “Breweries across the country need to be prepared for the process to take longer and, once the government is funded again, there could be a backlog. The craft beer industry accounts for more than 23 percent of the $111.4 billion U.S. beer market, and small breweries and beermakers introduce new and seasonal products with less lead time than larger breweries, making delays in permits are particularly impactful.”

In an effort to help federal workers who have been furloughed, Second Chance says they will be having a special event on Wednesday, January 22 called “Second Chance Beer Co’s Federal Furlough Relief Offer.” Any furloughed federal worker who brings their last pay stub to either of their taprooms can buy any of their house beers for $1.