Government Shutdown Effects Small Brewers

dronesMike and I generally attempt to avoid injecting personal politics into our enthusiasm for craft beer. Yet life is too often infected with politics whether one wants to acknowledge it or not. Since the government shutdown that began last week I have witness repeatedly the platitude that everything is “business as normal” in America and that no one’s lives are effected by this dramatic and ultimately pointless statement.

On the podcast episode to be released next week Mike and I discuss at length the effect that the shutdown has had on breweries across the country. How breweries and craft beer consumers are surprisingly effected by the shutdown. I don’t want to go into full detail here but I wanted to point out a specific case of woe that’s befallen a man who is about ready to brew but cannot due to the shutdown.

I am speaking of Dave Rowland, owner of the almost new brewery SoMe Brewing Company. Mr. Rowland is ready to open his door but cannot because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has not approved his brewers license. Despite Mr. Rowland having crossed all the ’t’s and dotted all the lowercase ’j’s and sent in his paperwork for license approval back in August he still hasn’t received approval. This means that despite having all his equipment installed and his ingredients ready Mr. Rowland isn’t legally allowed to create a single drop of alcohol in his brewery.

In a local news interview he says he, “Just [spent] many thousands of dollars on a brewing system, [his] kettles, *[his] mash tons, and hot liquor tanks.”* He has invested heavily in his dream but until the TTB is open and processing licenses again his dream is on hold.

The sad reality is that, “[F]or now he’s paying rent but making no money. Something he has in common with 800 thousand federal workers.”

If you hear some myopic, obtuse political parasite regurgitate the vapid soundbite that real people aren’t being effected by the shutdown just remember that they couldn’t be more wrong. That many wonderful Americans are being harshly punished by the representatives they elected to serve their best interests.

Look for our next episode where Mike and I delve into greater detail about the effects of the shutdown and what it means for you as a craft beer drinker.