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Say it isn’t so — government shutdown could tap out beer

SEATTLE — The federal government shutdown has claimed another victim: Beer brewers.

According to a report by USA Today, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau, a division of the Treasury Department, has stopped approving new beers because of the shutdown.


New beers that are bottled or canned to be sold across state lines must receive approval by the bureau. This includes labels as well as recipes using non-traditional ingredients. USA Today spoke to some brewers who said that many seasonal beers use non-traditional ingredients.

Even with the approval process on hold, however, the bureau is still collecting taxes during the shutdown, according to the report.

A shutdown of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau could create a “domino effect,” as one brewer put it. Some told USA Today that the delay could mean fall and winter beers will run out and there will not be a spring seasonal to replace them.

USA Today contacted the bureau for comment Wednesday and was told nobody in the office at that time had permission to speak to the media.

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