Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Last Straw

The government shutdown hasn't really affected me personally. In fact, it hasn't affected most of my friends and neighbors. All that might change, however, as a result of this.

Shutdown closes tap on new beers
The federal government shutdown is giving some folks one more reason to cry in their beers: An obscure but powerful arm of the Treasury Department has stopped approving new brews.

All new beers that get bottled or canned to be sold across state lines must be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, known in the industry as the TTB. Federal workers must approve the label, as well as the recipe if it uses non-traditional ingredients, which many seasonal beers contain.

While the TTB as stopped approving new recipes and labels, workers there are still collecting brewery taxes.
Of course they are. A little thing like shutting down the federal government won't stop the tax collectors from squeezing out every last penny from their victims.

As for that bit about "Federal workers must approve the label...", here's an extract from the Federal Regulations covering those labels on beer bottles that guys in bars spend their time peeling off.
TITLE 27--Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms




Subpart J - Marks, Brands, and Labels

Subsection 25.142 - Bottles

Paragraph (b) (3) (2):

If the location of two or more breweries is shown on the label (paragraph (b)(1)(ii)), or if the brewer's principal place of business is shown on the label in lieu of the actual place of production (paragraph (b)(1)(iii)), the brewer shall indicate the actual place of production by printing, coding or other markings on the label, bottle, crown or lid. The coding system employed will permit an appropriate TTB officer to determine the place of production (including street address if two or more breweries are located in the same city) of the beer. The brewer must notify the appropriate TTB offcer (sic) prior to employing a coding system.
It's enough to drive a guy to drink.

One last thought: if the workers who approve new beers aren't essential government employees, then no one is...

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Oops... And yeah, THAT is gonna leave a mark!!!