US brewers’ bureaucratic nightmare

The recent American Government shut down highlighted a little known fact about the country’s vibrant craft-brewing industry.  The shut down affected new brewers and existing brewers with new products to sell. While it continued to collect brewery taxes, the responsible agency “stopped approving new brews”, reported USA Today.

The report said the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, an arm of the Treasury, must approve “all new beers that get bottled or canned to be sold across state lines”.

While beers and breweries with existing approvals were not affected, a growing backlog could have had a serious impact on those with new brews in the wings.

Carla Villa, of New York’s Brooklyn Brewery, described a domino effect, “it’s this one thing that then affects all these other things. We can’t launch beers on time, which means our distributors can’t sell it, which means our customers can’t buy it”, reports USA Today.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 23 October 2013 in the Canberra Times and