CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -Charleston has the highest concentration of breweries in the state of South Carolina. With nearly 30 breweries in the Holy City, many are calling it South Carolina’s beer capital.
But the Federal Government shutdown is causing a gridlock for brewers across the country. No new beers can be produced.
The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Tax Trade Bureau is the agency responsible for approving labels, recipes, and licensing for any new beer, wine or spirit , but the TTB is closed during the shutdown.
“Any beer coming into Charleston or to South Carolina is going to require federal approval to get through our state regulators," Brook Bristow, who works as a Beverage Law Attorney, said. "Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. So, for consumers looking for the new IPA from Georgia or North Carolina, it’s not going to be here until the government gets reopened again.”
So local brew shops that have planned to debut new craft beers for the new year will have to wait. Brewers can make and sell products that have already been approved but those who want to try new exotic ingredients will have to wait to execute.
“A big part of craft beer is trying what’s new and fun. Brewers are constantly trying to evolve their products and do something different tastes for each consumer. So right now it’s definitely going to be a little slower than it was before," Bristow said.
Local brewers will also have to wait if they want to apply to any out-of state shows or festivals.
Those in the beer industry worry that delays will continue once the TTB reopens due to a backlog of applications.