Government shutdown impacting Central New York breweries

With this shutdown local breweries across Central New York are hurting. (CNY Central)

As the partial government shutdown enters its third week, breweries across Central New York are starting to feel the impact.

A consequence of the shutdown is a delay in approvals for craft brewers selling new beer. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, one of the departments shut down because of the stalemate in Washington D.C., is in charge of approving labels and licenses for any new beer, wine or spirit.

“Mostly it’s just label approval so the federal government has to approve your labels before they go out into market,” said Buried Acorn Brewing Company Owner Timothy Shore.

Shore and his partner Sam Kim have owned Buried Acorn Brewing Company in Syracuse for the past year. The brewery has a new brand launching the week of January 20, which the bureau has already processed, but Buried Acorn has five other new beers and labels that will need approval.

“I've got five brands coming out this spring that we will submit once the government reopens so we have them in time,” Shore said.

“In terms of when the government reopens, I don’t really see that many delays other than if paperwork piles up and there’s long lines in terms of delays,” said Kim.

Other breweries, however, like Talking Cursive Brewing Company, will likely have to delay opening because of the shutdown. Owner Andrew Brooks says he wants to open his brewery in Syracuse in the spring, but is now planning to open in the summer.

“You must put a lot of money up to open up the brewery," Brooks said. "You have to have your location secure, your equipment secure and so now it’s just kind of waiting on those final approvals."

Even though the government offices are closed and can’t help brewers navigate new products and launches, the brewers still have to pay all their licensing fees.

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