Local business suffers hangover from government shutdown

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WESTON, Mo. --Effects of the government shutdown, now ongoing for more than nine days, have been widely documented the past few weeks.

But among the hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers are employees of the Alochol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The TTB approves new breweries, beer recipes and labels. That might sound trivial, but for some people in the metro, it's more than beer, it's business.

Brewers like the Weston Brewing Company are steeped in tradition.

As a small craft brewery, the company relies on being tapped in to the ever changing taste buds of thirsty customers who expect new and innovative recipes and seasonal brews on a regular basis.

"I mean its very common for us to do, I mean we might do one that only lasts for a couple of months and now that's at a total stop," Corey Weinfurt, co-owner of the brewery since 2005 told FOX 4.

In July, the Weston Brewing Company said they invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a canning machine as the company moves away from bottled beer. But the changeover also meant new labels, which are subject to approval by the TTB. Without it, the new machine and the canning process are at a standstill.

"If anyone is going to do a new Spring seasonal, this is the time you'd normally be getting a label through for Spring seasonals and no one can do that," said Weinfurt.

Weinfurt said three of the company's new can labels were pushed through before the shutdown but one of their more popular brews, O'Mally's Stout, has been lost in the shutdown.

"It's kind of an ongoing process of chatting with the person at the end of the line and they're usually pretty good about it, but unfortunately now there isn't anyone at the other end of the line," he said.

And as long as the Stout isn't being canned and sold, Weinfurt said the business is losing at least 25% of its profits.

"We do 12 probably, different brands. And if only three of those can switch over to the canning line we've invested in, every month it will affect us more and more," said Weinfurt.

"This particular thing is rough for a small business." he added.

Weinfurt said if the shutdown continues, customers are likely to see less and less selection on store shelves since new recipes aren't being processed.

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