As of my writing this the United States government has been shutdown for 16 days. What does this have to do with beer? Considering that the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which regulates and taxes alcohol from a federal level, is currently one of the offices closed by this shutdown it means a whole heaping lot.
The TTB collects taxes from breweries every quarter based on production. This shutdown has come right at the end of the 4th quarter of the year and right when breweries are due to pay these taxes. Well, actually they are due by the 10th of January. Despite this shutdown breweries are still required to submit their quarterly production numbers and that nice check to Uncle Sam. Don’t forget it’s 2019 when filling in the date. These will just not be checked on until things are opened back up. But that’s not really the big deal here, you keep doing what you were doing. The real problem will be in other areas that the TTB oversees, licensing and label approvals.