WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – With reports that the federal government's partial shutdown may come to an end soon, furloughed workers may be back on the job, and other services may soon be restored. But for some people, the impact may last a lot longer -- at least one local brewery may not be able to share a cold one for months.
The government agency known as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is closed. The TTB, as it is known, processes beer taxes and approves new breweries, recipes, and labels. While the government is shut down, no new breweries can receive permits to get their businesses started.
The owners of Broomtail Craft Brews in Wilmington are concerned this could affect the future of their business.
Lisa Owings is the owner of Broomtail. She has everything in place to open her own brewery in Wilmington. However, with the shutdown still in effect, there is no telling when the first beer will be served.
"It's definitely frustrating," said Owings. "I feel helpless because there's nothing we can do except wait."
The federal government agent that was working on Owings' case was furloughed – forcing Owings to wait until the shutdown is over. Now, she's concerned about her family's livelihood.
"Obviously we want to be in business and produce great beer as soon as possible and have an income coming in," said Owings. "That's what is great about small business -- getting out there and supporting your family, doing what you love to do."
Right now is a key time as beer makers across the country are trying to roll out their new seasonal brews for the winter. But the government also regulates new recipes and labels.
So, even if the shutdown ends sooner rather than later, Owings may still have to wait even longer.
"Hopefully there's not a back log from the shutdown with all these companies getting labels approved," said Owings. "Hopefully it will flow when we get to that point and we don't have issues but we will have to wait and see."
Owings hopes to open the Broomtail Craft Brews by February of next year.
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