Shutdown could slow flow of new craft beer

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A flight of craft beers brewed in New York. ( file)

No tax refunds, no Smithsonian museums, no trash pickups in national parks—and now no new craft beer?

The federal government shutdown is affecting all sorts of sectors and businesses, including the beer, wine, and spirits industry.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, reviews and approves new beer, wine, and liquor labels for sale across state lines.

But because of the shutdown, "submissions will not be reviewed or approved until appropriations are enacted," according to a message on the agency's website.

That means that neither that enthusiastic former home-brewer who was set to launch a new beer label nor your favorite local brewery or distillery can bring new products to market for now.

The TTB told employees that they cannot report to work and "are prohibited by federal law from volunteering their services during a lapse in appropriations."

Companies that submitted new labels will have to wait until the office reopens to get approval.