The government shutdown has left the owners of some local craft breweries waiting to open wondering whether their plans will have to be put on hold.
The craft beer industry is governed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB; all new companies are required to receive permits from the TTB, which is currently closed down.
Mike Wagner, who owns Little Giant Brewery in Bradenton, is getting ready to open in January but still needs a permit.
"It's kind of a limbo situation which could potentially hold us up quite a bit," said Wagner, who is currently on a business trip as he prepares his business. "Hopefully they work the politics out and get things open again so that we can just have the piece of mind to know that our plan that we've been working on for years is going to come through in the time that we want it to."
Ryan Dowdle, who works at Cigar City, is also getting ready to open a new brewery in Seminole Heights.
He already as a permit but knows his business will also be impacted if the government shutdown lasts past his grand opening because the TTB also approves all new recipes and labels.
"We actually will brew beers to the season," Dowdle said. "Unfortunately if the government doesn't open back up, I won't be able to release those beers. That directly impacts my revenue."
Wagner said there are about a dozen craft beer companies planning to open in the Bay Area in the next six months.
"We really want to be a positive part of the community and the economy at large but this is just holding us up," he said. "If [the shutdown continues], then the frustration level will increase for everyone quite significantly, I'm sure."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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