Government shutdown impacting New Jersey’s craft beer industry

Posted: Updated:
BELMAR -

Sorry beer drinkers, it looks like the recent federal government shutdown is impacting New Jersey’s craft beer brewery industry.

Belmar’s Beach Haus Brewery owner John Merklin says that craft beer brewing is one of the most regulated forms of business.

Breweries looking to release new beers are having to wait for the federal government to be back in business. Merklin says that the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau, a federal agency, needs to approve the labels that are put on the beer. The shutdown is delaying that approval.

Merklin says that he has fresh containers of beer with no way to get it out to the public.

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“It’s got some real potential issues. We are a couple weeks into it, we have one label for submission that's pending. That quickly can become two or three next week,” he says.

Merklin says that his customers have come to expect new beers often, and that the shutdown is impacting his bottom line.

“The consumers want new and different all the time, so it's really it's gone from being a couple flagship beers to…updating it weekly, the styles you're putting out,” he says.

Merklin says that almost 15 percent of all beer in the United States comes from local breweries – more than 100 of them in New Jersey.

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