CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- The government shutdown is brewing up trouble for beer makers and distilleries. New craft brewers trying to get their licenses approved are now stuck. One Punta Gorda business owner said his microbrewery was scheduled to open in December, but now, he's not sure when the doors will open.
Local brewer William Frazer wants you to drink his beer, but the federal government shutdown is keeping him from turning an empty building on Charlotte Street into the brewery of his dreams.
All new breweries must submit applications to the alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB. Ever since the federal shutdown, users find this message on the TTB's homepage, saying without funding, the website is offline.
Some breweries are waiting for label or formula approval. That means seasonal flavors or new brews are sitting on shelves, ready to serve, but not allowed to be sold.
Frazer said he's trying to be patient, but said not knowing is the hardest part.
The US Small Business Administration is also affected. According to its website, brewers or beer-related businesses seeking loan paperwork may have to delay their work.