Craig brewers over a barrel as result of federal government shutdown
January 17, 2019
CRAIG — Brewers are the latest beleaguered by the federal government shutdown as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has been unable to review or approve any labeling changes, new formulae, or permits for brewers and distillers across the country.
Yampa Valley Brewing Company — The Barrel Cathedral, which is expected to open in downtown Craig this spring, is one of the breweries caught in the backlog.
To manufacture beer in Craig, YVBC needs a brewer's notice from the TTB.
"That is a number for excise tax and is required for state approval of licensing," said Christian Dufresne, one of four partners associated with YVBC and its new venture, the Barrel Cathedral.
Dufresne said the company started the application process in November. At that time, the average wait was 70 to 80 days, providing a 10- to 15-day window prior to their anticipated opening date.
Delays from the shutdown will push back the launch of sour beers planned for the Craig location, but should not prevent the opening of the Craig location and its ability to sell beer brewed in Hayden.
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YVBC — The Barrel Cathedral owner/brewer Erica Tieppo described the situation as "unfortunate," but said they have options not available to many of Colorado's more than 400 breweries.
"It's going to be really difficult for people setting the tone for the industry to do anything until this is all over," Tieppo said.
As a result of the possible impact on a Colorado's economy, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to address the government shutdown's “chilling effect on brewers and distillers as they await approvals, delay product launches, and halt projected growth.”
In his letter, Bennet described negative effects already plaguing the industry, such as delays in the launch of new beers and expansion of businesses, along with thousands of gallons of beer that could spoil before bottling.
"If the shutdown worsens an already lengthy approval backlog, brewing companies could suffer delays and tens of thousands of dollars of lost revenue," Bennet wrote.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.