Government shutdown affecting local breweries

LINCOLN, Neb. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is one of the many agencies that's closed during the shutdown. That's the agency that approves new beers and their labels before they hit the shelves and for local Lincoln breweries this unexpected hold-up is causing headaches.

Blue Blood Brewing is working on 18 beers for the spring, all of which are currently untapped, as they wait for the government to re-open.

"Normally it's 10 days," said Brian Podwinski "it goes to our printer, we get it within a week, so really within a month of having a new beer designed we would have the label in hand, ready to package beer. Well now were looking at two, possibly three this year"

That delay doesn't just hurt the beer drinker as they wait for the new flavors, it hurts the business financially.

"We're anticipating it to be in the tens of thousands of dollars," said Podwinski "is what we will miss out on over the next month of two months"

Across town at Zipline Brewery, co-founder Tom Wilmoth says he's usually ahead of the game when it comes to getting labels approved but as the shutdown drags on, he's feeling the effects as well.

"If things continue to stay closed we could be upwards of 90 days," said Wilmoth "which could affect the release of certain seasonal beers and certainly some of the small batch things that we like to do"

Both breweries say they anticipate at least a 45 day wait for label approval even after the government re-opens, as the agency becomes even more backlogged.

While they wait, Wilmoth says he's staying positive.

"Well the on thing that will really help people get over the shutdown, is getting the beer flowing again, so we really hope that happens," said Wilmoth.

This rule only applies to breweries when shipping beer outside the state, and the both breweries say they still plan to have new beers on tap, in their beer halls, in order to not waste any product.