Day 23: Local breweries forced to stop plans for new brews during government shutdown

Source: WEAR's Al Showers

As the government shutdown heads into its third week, it's not just affecting federal workers, many local breweries in the Northwest Florida area starting to feel the impact.

It looked like it's business as usual at Perfect Plain Brewing Co. Sunday afternoon, but the last few weeks have been slower than normal.

For brewers, like Reed Odeneal, releasing their new creations have become a waiting game.

"It really makes you feel helpless. TTB - that's our government body," said Odeneal.

He's talking about the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB.

New beers for sale with their own labels, or any beers sold across state lines, have to go through them.

However, without the approval their beer stays here.

"This is going to affect us for three months, I feel. When we're sitting on beer waiting to be released that we can't get it out of the door, that holds us up. We can't get our production pushed through any faster than we already can," explained Odeneal.

For this company, who planned to roll out new products for the new year, it's a big headache.

"We are trying to work around our ways we're being handicapped by the shutdown. We've had expansion plans in the works for the past few months and we're delayed on that because we can't get approval of blueprints," Odeneal said.

As Odeneal continues to wait for the government to reopen, the patience is starting to wear off quickly because, so far, two new products are being held up at this point. He estimates it's at least $5,000 in loss of sales.

"You'd never expect something controversial like that to affect craft breweries. And here we are, our hands are tied, and like I said it just makes you feel hopeless," Odeneal added.

Aside from breweries, wineries are also facing similar problems.

It takes the Tax and Trade Bureau about three weeks to approve the labels for beer to be shipped out of state.

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