Possible Government Shutdown and Potential Impacts to Brewery Operations

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As we near the end of the federal government’s fiscal year (FY) on September 30, it is unlikely that Congress will meet the deadline to pass the full 2024 FY budget.

While Congress could enact a continuing resolution providing an interim period in which the government will continue to function while the budget process moves forward, this is not a certainty, so the possibility of a government shutdown remains.

Any length of shutdown will impact “non-essential” operations at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Based on past shutdown situations, the TTB will not review or approve labels, formulas, or brewers’ notices until the government reopens. For some time after reopening, longer approval times will result from the larger than normal backlog of applications.  

Given the current uncertainty, breweries should submit any upcoming approval requests or applications as soon as possible to obtain approvals prior to a potential government shutdown, as well as avoid longer wait times on the other end of any shutdown.

Other ways that your brewery could be impacted by a government shutdown:

  • Taxes and Reports of Operations: If you are scheduled to pay federal excise taxes or to file a brewer’s report of operations during the shutdown you must still pay and file. Breweries can go to pay.gov to pay their taxes and file their reports of operations.
  • Loans: The Small Business Administration (SBA) may also be closed due to the shutdown, meaning small businesses will not have access to federally assisted loans. If your brewery is in the process of applying for a loan from a bank or credit union, then a shutdown could impact your loan process.
  • Congressional Offices: Many Congressional staffers are designated as non-essential employees. During a shutdown there is a chance that you will not be able to contact the offices of your federal elected officials.

The Brewers Association government affairs team is meeting with key legislative offices and sharing how a shutdown will negatively impact small and independent breweries in their states and congressional districts. The association will continue to update our members on any developments on this issue.