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Fed Shutdown Could Affect Availability of Craft Beers, Too

The news is full of stories of the widespread impacts of the federal shutdown. And now more bad news: it may be affecting local beer, too.

The agency that approves new breweries, recipes, labels, and such is closed. That means any applications that haven't been approved will have to wait until the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is back up and running with the rest of the federal government.

Already operating breweries and their approved beers won't be affected, and tap handles don't require TTB approval. On the other hand, any new recipe awaiting approval, or labels for new bottled flavors will, as will plans for new brewery openings.

Locally that means a delay in Narrows Brewing's plans to begin bottling their beer this December, and could affect other breweries plans for new seasonal brews. Pacific Brewing had the incredible luck of getting their license approved the day before the shutdown, so that won't be slowing down their opening, and they don't plan to begin packaging until Q2.

You can still get current Narrows beers on tap, and Harmon seasonal beers are on track to be available, including their Steep and Deep Winter Ale, Black Tartan, and Rajah Imperial IPA, but looking ahead any new label could be delayed. 

We know Tacomans are fond of their winter beers, and Tacoma was a big prohibition town...

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