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    How Beer is Affected by the Shutdown

    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.

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    Brewery Safety: It’s Cool

    When a homebrewer has aspirations of turning a hobby into a career one of the last things that probably comes to mind is safety. The closest thing they typically encounter that would be considered a safety issue is exploding bottles from over carbonation. I’m not saying that isn’t a real safety issue, because it is. I’ve had my own experiences with those. I still found broken glass, by stepping on them barefoot, even when I sold that house 6 years later. I’m just saying that homebrewers don’t really have a need for a real safety plan.

    Safety is a very serious and very real concern working in a manufacturing brewery that is surrounded by things that can cause trips, slips, cuts, burns, poisonings and death. It wasn’t until I attended a seminar at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference that I started to take safety seriously.

    In the talk a number of operations managers—a position I held—from a number of much bigger breweries opened up the floor to questions. In pouring came a number of safety related questions. One after one operations managers from Three Floyds, Victory, Allagash and Cigar City provided basic procedures that any brewery, of any size, could easily implement. Safety glasses, rubber gloves when handling chemicals, proper footwear and much more easy, cheap procedures we’re listed off. I put my pen into overdrive on the conference provided notebook trying to keep up with these nuggets of information. I was convinced that I needed to create some sort of basic safety plan for our brewery and it needed to be done very soon.

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    My Favorite Beer Brandings

    If you’ve been any sort of of reader of this blog for the last year you will by now know that I am pretty passionate about design in the beer world. It is design, after-all, that can hook a consumer and create a life long fan to one’s brand. In my early years of coming into the craft beer ether it was attractive labels that caught me when perusing the beer aisle at my local store.

    It should also go without saying that I absolute hate the increasing trend of breweries ripping intellectual property from other companies, modifying them and passing them off as their own in some “funny” and “hip” sort of way. I’ve written 2 different posts about this so I won’t bother you with all those details. Go read the other pieces.

    I figured after all of that I should make a more positive article to where I give credit to breweries that show their creative side when it comes to their branding and packaging. It is these breweries that resist the temptation to be cheap and easy to create beautiful branding that is eye catching and uniquely theirs.

    This list is absolutely from my own personal standpoint and in no way represents the best brandings out there. The best does not necessarily mean that I like them. And vise versa, my favorites do not mean they are necessarily the best. I should also point out that with now over 7000 active breweries in the country that I’m likely missing some ones that I have either never seen or just flat out forgot. Please feel free to let me know some of your favorite brewery brands out there from a design standpoint.

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