San Diego

Local Brewers Say Partial Government Shutdown Could Impact Craft Beer

All new beer labels require federal approval

The partial government shutdown has impacted government employees who are not getting paychecks, but now it could affect the craft beer industry too. 

Every new beer label requires approval from the federal government. But the federal offices that handle that process are currently part of the government shutdown. 

"The Tax and Trade Bureau requires government mandated things on beer labels like alcohol content," said Austin Pinder, head brewer at Bay City Brewing Company in Point Loma. "It also requires that the content on the packaging is unoffensive." 

Pinder said this process is already lengthy, but once the government opens again, it could create a backlog of two to three weeks. 

Bay City Brewing Company comes out with up to 30 new beers a year. Other start-up craft breweries that are trying to get off the ground in the competitive San Diego market could be hurt by the delay in approval. 

Pinder added that if lawmakers do not make a deal soon, it could affect the whole San Diego craft beer economy. 

"With the government shutdown you have people in our city dependent on paychecks that may not be getting them," said Pinder. "Craft beer is a luxury item." 

There is no word yet on when the shutdown will end.  

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