Local craft brewery still feeling effects of October government - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Local craft brewery still feeling effects of October government shutdown


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- The bipartisan budget deal that emerged from the U.S. Capitol last week is a positive sign for craft breweries hoping to avoid another government shutdown.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a branch of the IRS, is a government agency tasked with approving all beer labels before they're permitted to be placed on bottles and sold.

The TTB shut down for two weeks with much of the federal government in October, after the House and Senate failed to agree on government funding levels for the current fiscal year.

Joe Katchever, the owner of Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, said the shutdown delayed the release of his brewery's Java Lava beer a "couple of weeks" while the company waited on label approval.

He said Pearl Street is also waiting on label approval for another one of its limited release beers.

Katchever said that label likely would have been approved by now under normal circumstances. But added the government shutdown caused a backlog at the TTB and its workers are likely still trying to recover.

He said the craft beer industry as a whole is hoping it won't have to deal with another shutdown in the new year.

Now that a budget deal has set government funding levels in place, the US Congress must pass its 12 appropriations bills to keep the government running.

It could opt to pass them individually or try to move one, omnibus bill through both chambers.

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