Government Shutdown Has Beer Brewer over a Barrel

Before beer can be sold outside the state it’s made in, the label must be approved by the federal government. But approvals aren’t being given because evidently the government’s “Beer Label Approver” must be furloughed due to the government shutdown.

So a Washington, D.C. beer brewer has filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order against the government from enforcing the label rule so that they can sell their beer in nearby states while it’s fresh.

The federal government, in a policy that should always have been constitutionally questionable, insists it must pre-approve any beer label that enters interstate commerce under the certificate of label approval (COLA) rule contained in the Federal Alcohol Administration Act.

Thanks to the ongoing federal government shutdown, the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is not processing or issuing such approvals.

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