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Video: Area Breweries Feeling Impacts of Partial Government Shutdown

Jan 19, 2019 05:24AM ● By Editor

By Taylor Holt of WDIO-TV - January 18, 2019

28 days into the shutdown, and local craft breweries are feeling the impacts as well. Duluth has more than a dozen breweries and the shutdown is affecting those, especially wanting to bring new brews to consumers.

Dave Hoops, Owner of Hoops Brewing Company says wintertime is already a slower season and with the shutdown, business at their brewery is being impacted.

"People that are without jobs right now are certainly not rushing to go out and eat and drink so it's certainly affecting our economy quite a bit," said Hoops.

Breweries throughout the Country and State are dealing with uncertainties, because of the temporary closure of the TTB or Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the federal agency that regulates interstate alcohol sales. 

"If you have a new beer that you want to put out to the market, there's an approval process we have to go through to get labels approved and the opportunity to sell," said Hoops. "Many breweries are sitting with beer waiting to be sold things, or even in the tanks because you can't release it. The other thing, paying taxes on what we produce is delayed."

Hoops says they don't distribute out of state so getting new labels approved to sell products across state lines is not affecting them so much. However, it's a different story for another local brewery.

"Bent Paddle and us, and I think Blacklist ships over to Wisconsin, so if they come out with a new brand, any of us will have to have federal approval and right now, that is not going to work," said Dale Kleinschmidt, Former Owner and Brewer at Lake Superior Brewing Company.

The company does have a new brand coming out next week, but all the approval was finalized last year before the shut down.

Kleinshmidt says the shutdown is going to seriously impact the 2,000 breweries nationwide planning to open, that can't. For his company, the longer this shutdown goes the more problems it could pose.

"We won't have any issues really until summertime. If (the shutdown) goes that long, we might have some issues because we want to have another brand coming up late this summer so hopefully things will be taken care of before that," he said.

Both places are offering free beers to all furloughed employees until the shut down ends. At Hoops, it's one free 10 oz beer, per day. Lake Superior Brewing is offering a first pint free on Thursdays and Sundays. People must bring their Government IDs. 

Watch the WDIO-TV Report

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here