Government Shutdown Affecting Breweries

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-The federal government shutdown is having a direct impact on some South Dakota beer makers. It’s creating a delay that will soon turn into dollars lost.

When working with alcohol there are certain procedures brewers must follow.     

“Alcohol is a pretty high regulated industry. They want to make sure what’s exactly being made and who’s drinking it, and where it’s going. So because of that we’re pretty much licensed all the way through the process,” said Matthew Hastad, Co-owner of Remedy Brewing.

All permits and licenses must be approved through the federal Alcohol And Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. However, due to the shutdown that agency is closed.

For more established breweries like Remedy Brewing, they won’t see a huge impact, but up-and-coming breweries in Sioux Falls like Covert Artisan Ales are feeling the effects as they now have to wait longer to open.

Stacey Berry and her husband have been brewing since September. Their beer is ready to go. The new year was supposed to bring about excitement.

“As a new brewery we want our name out there. Any of the beers we release, it’s kind of like a big deal,” said Berry.

However, there’s a hold-up they didn’t anticipate. Before they can start selling beer to vendors, they need to get labels approved for all their beer. During the shutdown, they can’t even apply to the bureau for those labels, let alone get them approved. What Berry says would normally be a 10-day approval process will now take much longer.

“We were looking at trying to get stuff out like I said the next few weeks and now it could be the summer,” said Berry.

The longer the shutdown goes on, the more business opportunities the production brewery will miss out on.

“You know festivals are going to start popping up, we can’t go to those. It’s kind of frustrating. We’d like to start being able to make money,” said Berry.

For now, thousands of dollars is just sitting there until the government reopens.

Another new brewery being impacted in Sioux Falls is Severance. The owners hoped to have their permit accepted by May to begin brewing enough beer to open in July. What they expected to be a two month process to get their permit could now take longer, pushing back when they can open.


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