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Breweries can't release new beer until government shutdown ends

By: Chris Flanagan, Boston25News.com

EVERETT, Mass. – The government shutdown is preventing some breweries from releasing new beer.

Small, family-run Night Shift Brewing in Everett is in danger of missing the release of a new summer brewit has been planning for months, thanks to the government shutdown.

“If the government opens tomorrow, we probably can’t get the beer any sooner than May, and if it’s longer than that, then there’s the question should we even bother to release this summer beer in late August or something like that,” said Night Shift co-founder Rob Burns.

That’s because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is shut down. The little-known agency must approve new beers and their labels before they can be sold in stores and restaurants.

“And that then affects the retailers and bar owners who are also expecting to sell these beers, so it’s a trickle-down effect,” Burns said.

Night Shift also has a distributing business that imports wine and spirits from Europe, which also needs the same label approval, but right now that liquor can’t get on a boat until it gets the green light from the TTB.

Burns is also the president of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and says right now there are about 30 breweries across Massachusetts in the planning stages, but they can’t open for business until they get approval once the government shutdown ends.

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