MACON, Ga. — For brewers like Yash Patel of Macon Beer Company, distributing their new creations becomes a waiting game during this government shutdown.
The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is closed due to the shutdown. They approve new beers and labels before the golden beverage hits the stores. The approval process takes 20 to 30 days.
Patel says, "So we're already behind 30 days, and now we're behind every day that it's closed down, and it's not just me doing it, it's every other brewing company in the country doing it, and there's only one department to handle it."
Macon Beer Company is planning to launch new beers over state lines, but without the approval, their beer stays in the warehouse.
For beer lovers craving their favorite out-of-state brew, you won't find it on the shelves anytime soon.
"You're just going to have to wait until the government is back up and they get that label approved, and by the time they do that, the beer's probably going to be gone, because it'll be a limited release beer, so you just don't have that beer to drink," says Patel.
Patel plans to expand his business with a new taproom located in downtown Macon on 2nd Street, but he says with the government shutdown, the doors aren't opening anytime soon.
Construction is underway, permits and licensing are submitted. The federal Tax and Trade Bureau approves licensing for breweries and expansions, and that means Patel's new taproom is on stand-by.
"Everything's gone to the government that they need from us, but now it's just sitting in some dusty file cabinet and waiting for someone to look at it, so until the government opens back up, and they look at that paperwork."
Every day that passes by, Patel's business plans suffer. "There's just a lot of waiting going on and it's frustrating," he says.
Patel says the Macon Beer Company planned to open the new taproom this spring, but now he doesn't know when they'll open.