Craft beer, another victim of the closure of the Government

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View of a man while serving beer. EFE / Archive

In the middle of the administrative closure, a craft brewery has filed a lawsuit against the impossibility of starting to distribute a new beverage, since the agency that approves the labels is not working.

And is that what in theory seemed a struggle between the powerful Republican and Democratic parties for the wall proposed by the president, Donald Trump, in practice, a few days after a month of paralysis, begins to become a headache for many.

One of the affected sectors is that of craft breweries due to the closure of the Tax and Trade Office of Alcohol and Tobacco (known in English TTB), whose division of Advertising, Labeling and Formulation is responsible, among others, for granting certificates of approval of label for the commercialization of alcoholic beverages in the states of the country.

Precisely the lack of this approval led to Atlas Brew Works, a craft brewery in Washington DC, to present on Tuesday a lawsuit against the Attorney General seeking to be authorized the sale in Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia of his “The Precious One” beer, an IPA (India Pale Ale) of apricot that you hope to have on the market for spring.

Its executive director, Justin Cox, who founded Atlas Brew Works in September 2013 after being a federal employee, told Efe that without approval they can not sell the beer outside of the District of Columbia.

The complaint alleges that this situation is infringing the right established in the First Amendment of the Constitution, which protects, among others, the right to free expression.

“Our labels are our main way of communicating with our consumers,” said Cox, who explained that they include information about beer and its ingredients.

But while the dispute in Congress continues, Atlas Brew Works, which has 11 full-time employees and about 25 part-time employees, has an existence of 40 barrels of “The Precious One” that will expire in the coming weeks.

Cox, who left his post in the Public Administration, driven by his entrepreneurial spirit and his successful foray into the preparation of beer recipes, insisted that it is a “perishable product” with a “120-day shelf life”.

So if they do not get a prompt response they can lose the materials, the production costs and they will not receive the profits expected by the commercialization of this drink.

Also begin to add aspects such as the storage of this product, which delays in part the development of other beverages to avoid filling the factory space, and new sales that they hoped to attract, covered by a new brand that keeps “fresh” “in the minds of consumers this brewery.

For this businessman, the partial closure of the Administration is “extremely frustrating” and not only for his business but also for friends, family members and members of the community among those who, he considered, begin to see the “effects” of this situation.

Atlas Brew Works, which has also launched an initiative to offer free beverages to federal employees through online donations, is not the only one in its business affected and already Prairie Artisan Ales, a brewer based in Oklahoma, warned about your situation on Twitter.

In a message to Trump, they warned: “We are a US-owned company and we want to distribute beer, but the closure includes the Tax and Trade Office of Alcohol and Tobacco, so we can not move forward now.”

“Please help, people want beer,” they underlined in the message, which they finished off with the label # beer2020, in reference to the upcoming presidential elections.

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