How Michigan breweries are being hurt by ongoing government shutdown


DETROIT - As the government shutdown continues into its third week, Michigan breweries are starting to feel its impact.

Beer is one of Michigan's fastest growing industries, one of the strongest craft beer markets in America. The Brewers Association estimates Michigan has 4.5 breweries per capita, 11th in the nation, with 330 craft breweries, ranking fourth in the nation. (2017 stats)

While the shutdown doesn't change how customers buy beer, it is delaying how breweries release it.

When a brewery releases a new product, they have to have labels, permits and other items approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which is not operating due to the shutdown.

Brewery Terra Firma in Traverse City had been planning to release four new canned beers in early 2019, but with the shutdown, they aren't sure if they'll be able to.

“We really can’t do anything,” said owner John Neidermaier to WPBN. “We’re dead in the water. We have to wait for them to say, 'okay these graphics are fine' and allow us to use them before we can go and submit them to the can manufacture and actually have the cans made.”

It's not just labels and bottles. Short's Brewing told WPBN that they are unable to secure approval for certain small business loans and permits.

“We’ve got a fairly sizable construction project going on right now that we are funding out of pocket, which is becoming more painful by the day,” said Short’s Partner, Scott Newman-Bale.



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