New craft beers, breweries halted by government shutdown


In the craft beer business, a change of season is almost always accompanied by new brews to try. That is, until the government shutdown put a halt on a few very important production steps.

Cigar City Brewing is a local craft beer staple in the Bay area and the government shutdown has kept them from filling pints with a new brew.

Toni Derby, President of Cigar City, said craft breweries are handcuffed.

“That’s what they look forward to, trying new things from their favorite brewery,” said Derby.

The government office that approves new labels, recipes, and breweries is closed. That means a new beer Cigar City is set to unveil is on hold, and their winery license is also up in the air.

Craft brew masters can create new beers, but until the shutdown ends, customers will not be able to drink them.

“Craft brewers are artists,” said Derby. “This is their craft. They enjoy making different recipes, experimenting, and that’s what the consumer looks for.”

In downtown St. Petersburg the owner of St. Pete Brewing Company, Tom Williams, is hard at work putting the finishing touches on his new brewery.

“We have about two more weeks to finish construction here, until we bring our equipment in,” said Williams. “We are trying to open in mid to late November.”

Williams said they are worried about getting their license to sell their beers in time for their opening.

“We’re going to have the best looking brewery in St. Petersburg without beer, because we’ll be waiting for that license,” said Williams.

The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Trade Bureau oversees craft breweries. The bureau’s website said it is shutdown.

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