Wisconsin's breweries affected by government shutdown - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin's breweries affected by government shutdown


The government shutdown is impacting beer. At least one brewery is unable to sell some of its products because of a U.S. Treasury agency that's closed.

Brewmasters at Point Brewery in Stevens Point said they're stuck. They can't start making their new seasonal beers.

"We're right now in a holding pattern, waiting on the government to come through and approve our formulations and packaging materials," said Gabe Hopkins, Point Brewery Brewmaster.

Approval for the new winter and spring beers comes from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

The agency reviews new recipes, labels and breweries. But, it's closed.

"It's really frustrating cause we're in a tremendously exciting growth period right now at Point and they're new crazy good beers but we just can't make them yet," said Hopkins.

Point brewers said this time of year is especially important.

"You have a limited window on seasonals and it does hurt you," said Hopkins.

But not at Bull Falls Brewery in Wausau.

"We have not seen any effects from it yet," said Mike Zamzow, Bull Falls Brewery Co-owner.

The brewery recently expanded and received approval for new packaging.

Still, workers there said it was close.

"If we had applications in the works, of course, those would be held up right now," said Zamzow.

Just like they are at Point Brewery.

If too much time passes, the new brews may have to wait until next winter.

"It's frustrating, we've done a pile of batches in-house, we believe in the liquid, the beers going to be phenomenal," said Hopkins.

For now, workers at Point will keep producing their year-round brews.

In the meantime, the others will have to wait.

The federal agency is not processing any new beer applications. But it is still collecting taxes from brewers.

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