Cocktails & Spirits

Government Shutdown Screws MIA Brewing, Schnebly, and Others

The government shutdown has put some Miami start-up breweries on hold, at least those who have applied for federal permits. Indeed, brewers and even wine and spirits makers, are being affected in some way.

See also: Government Shutdown: Nine Ways It Affects Restaurants and Consumers

The shutdown has closed the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the wing of the U.S. Treasury that processes federal applications for brewers. MIA Brewing Company has been particularly affected. Eddie Leon and his partners recently acquired their building permit from the City of Doral. They recently held a ground-breaking party at the brewery to celebrate, smashing out walls and releasing a little aggression over what the shutdown is doing to the brewing industry.

"All we can do is construction," Leon said.

Even though Wynwood Brewing has opened and is brewing, the TTB closure has slowed approval for new recipes and labels, which usually takes about 45 days, according to Wynwood Brewing owner Luis Brignoni.

The shutdown hasn't affected Johnathan Wakefield's brewing operation yet because he has not applied for any permits. Same with 4th Age Brewing. Gus Chacon from Biscayne Brewing says his company is not being affected.

Peter Schnebly from Miami Brewing Company said the shutdown isn't messing with his brewing operations but is having an impact on his wine business.

Schnebly says that online sales are being affected in states where his company has recently submitted permits to sell wine. ShipCompliant, the company he uses to facilitate delivery of wine to other states, is also being affected because Certificates of Label Approval have been halted.

The good news is that brewers can still brew -- home-brew that is -- until the shutdown ends.

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David Minsky is a U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He has also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky