Government shutdown over; breweries still feeling impacts

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO)- Great Basin Brewing Company is looking to sell a new type of beer called "Cervesa Chilebeso" for spring.

"It is brewed with fresh jalapenos," said Jazz Aldrich with Great Basin Brewing Company.

In order for them to sell this new beer, they need to get approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

"We currently have a label sitting in process with the TTB because all labels have to go through a process that verifies that everything we have on there is true," said Aldrich.

Aldrich said he submitted the label before the government shutdown. When the shutdown started, all federal agencies including the TTB closed. The government has been open since Friday, but breweries are still feeling the impacts because the TTB has to go through thousands of applications.

Aldrich said they were hoping to have their new beer out by mid-March, but at this point, they do not know if they will be able to.

"We will be taking a hit here," said Aldrich.

Great Basin Brewing Company is one of many local breweries facing this problem.

"There are at least 3 breweries locally in Reno that are looking at expanding to either a second tasting room or a bigger production facility," said President of the Nevada Craft Brewers Association and owner of IMBIB Matt Johnson.

Johnson said in order to expand, you need approval from the federal government.

"Until we start seeing applications get processed, none of us have confidence that this will start moving quickly," said Johnson."The TTB is short-staffed as it is so they will be walking into a huge queue of things that need to get processed."

Johnson said the delays will impact local breweries.

"If you are not able to live up to a commitment you made to a distributor or what have you about a certain product, it is going to be a mess," said Johnson.

With the possibility of another government shutdown in the future, local breweries are submitting as many applications as they can while the government is open.

"It is entirely possible that we are shut down again in three weeks," said Johnson,"Then it is just here we go again."

Lawmakers in Washington have until February 15 to reach a compromise in border security funding.