Government shutdown could impact local brewery soon, owner says

(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Jan. 8, 2019 at 6:26 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Breweries nationwide are seeing the effects of the government shutdown.

The agency responsible for approving labels and processing permits is closed.

A local brewery said if the shutdown continues, it would impact your beer.

If there’s one thing Clark Ortkiese knows, it’s beer. Since opening Crosstown Brewing Company last year, they’ve made about a dozen types of beer.

But as Ortkiese looks to his next rollout come spring and summer, the government shutdown is also in the mix.

“I need the government to operate so they can function to do the things I need them to do to run my business,” Ortkiese said. “As a business owner that’s the biggest frustration. If we can get our stuff together why can’t they?”

We are more than two weeks into the government shutdown and it’s having an impact on breweries nationwide. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or the TTB, approves beer labels and processes permits.

Since the shutdown, the agency has been closed. Ortkiese said the shutdown isn’t impacting Crosstown yet but said they’ve got plans to submit two labels for approval soon.

"When the government comes back online it won’t be an immediate thing so there will be a backlog so everybody who’s been waiting to get their labels approved in the last two weeks will be in line ahead of whoever comes after,” Ortkiese said.

Ortkiese said it normally takes 2-3 weeks for the TTB to approve labels. He just hopes the government shutdown ends soon, because politics aren’t in his recipe.

“We’re not trying to get into the politics of it. We’re just trying to make beer and maybe that’ll make an impact,” Ortkiese said. “If people stop getting their beer maybe we’ll make a little progress on getting the shutdown resolved.”

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