Government shutdown puts budding breweries on hold - New York News

Government shutdown puts budding breweries on hold

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PHOENIX -

From benefits, to national parks, now to your local pub. Because of the government shutdown -- some of the new brews of the season won't be on tap.

And here in Phoenix, some new breweries might not even open on time.

An obscure government agency called the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has the power to approve new brews and brewery licenses.

They're closed right now, so new beers can't be sold and new breweries can't start up.

"I just wish they'd sit down and have a beer," says Julie Meeker, of Mother Bunch Brewing Company.

If only the solution were that simple. Julie Meeker plans to turn this historic downtown Phoenix building from a gym into a microbrewery.

"It's gorgeous exposed brick, open wood tresses, just begging to be a brewery."

But her dreams are on hold because she can't apply for the licenses she needs to open.

"We can't even file an application because they've taken the entire website down. There's a notice saying because of the current situation government shutdown that they're not even accepting current applications," says Meeker.

Federal workers also have to approve the label and the recipe for seasonal brews before they're bottled or served.

That means seasonal brews won't be making it to your local pub any time soon.

And while this gym is moving out soon, the opening of the microbrewery set to take its place is up in the air.

The owner is now wondering how long her grand opening will be delayed. She's hoping lawmakers can resolve their differences over a cold one soon.

"I wish they'd sit down have a beer. Even though I know John Boehner is a wine drinker maybe he just hasn't found that beer style he likes yet."

President Obama has done something like that before. Anyone remember the White House Beer Summit in 2009, where he invited the vice president and two controversial figures in the news at the time over to the Rose Garden to talk it out over beers?

Obviously, this government shutdown is much more serious and complicated, and it's going to take much more than beer to get lawmakers to agree on a deal to end this shutdown.

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