Trouble brewing for local beer company as shutdown continues
Nineteen days into a partial government shutdown and trouble is brewing for beer companies nationwide.
"Right now all of those beers are just sitting on shelves because labels aren't being approved," says Heaven and Ale Brewing Co. Owner Joe Winland.
Heaven and Ale Brewing Company in Chattanooga is one of them.
"It's frustrating," Winland tells Channel 3.
Winland says his team is waiting on approval from an office that's closed--the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
"The shutdown is impacting mid-size to large independent craft breweries the most. In some cases, breweries already have beer in cans and bottles and they're just waiting on the labels to be approved, so they can begin selling them to distributors to get them into the hands of consumers," he explains.
For smaller companies like Heaven and Ale, opportunities to expand business are at stake without the approval of new flavors.
"One of the ways in which we build brand equity and one of the ways in which we we start to promote our brand in markets we want to begin distributing beer to is through beer festivals. That's our first point of access to consumers," Winland adds.
Winland says he's looking to US officials to put a lid on the shutdown soon for the sake of hardworking business owners.
"I'm hoping that our elected officials understand the scope of and the breadth to which they are jeopardizing American business owners and their ability to grow and be successful," he says.
Heaven and Ale had planned to begin canning their own beers in March. That deadline may be pushed back if they can't get the approval needed from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Stay with the WRCB app for continuing coverage of the government shutdown.