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Shutdown hitting Nebraska breweries

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jan 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-11 18:42:23-05

LA VISTA, Neb. (KMTV) — Head beer pusher at Kros Strain brewery Jeff Hardy currently has several beers waiting approval from the feds.

"If we wanted to run into any seasonals, one-offs, things that didn't have previous approval, that where's we'd run into a delay on this," says Jeff Hardy with Kros Strain.

Hardy and Kros Strain are running out of time. Some of the beers awaiting approval were set to debut at a March festival in Atlanta.

"That is in the backlog right now, so it's a crap-shoot," says Hardy.

Those seasonal beers in the backlog are popular.

"It is one of the better selling ones, we do some that we do on a rotating basis and those sell out pretty quick, we did a Christmas beer this year and that didn't even make it to Christmas," says Hardy.

And it's unclear how long it'll take the TTP to get rid of the backlog.

Over at Pint Nine Brewery next door, they have the same problem, a stout and a double IPA are set for release. Well, they were set for a release, until the government shutdown.

They can still divvy out those beers on tap, but can't sell them in bottles until labels are approved.

"It cripples the revenue stream that would normally be looking forward to getting, but it also kind of reins in our footprint to a certain extent," says James Watson with Pint NIne.

But let's slow down, why does the government need to be involved with Nebraska breweries at all?

The TTP is there to make sure breweries aren't misleading customers, so they check the size of the bottle, alcohol content and make sure certain words, such as beer or ale, are on the label.

"I mean with any industry you're going to have some bad apples in the industry and there needs to be rules in place but I think it could be streamlined a little bit," says Hardy.

Founder of Pint Nine, James Watson, says they'll be fine, but their wallet might be a tad lighter.

"It's not like it's one of the last nails in our coffin type of thing, but it's one of those things where everything helps," says Watson.

The shutdown also affects beer sales across state lines, Kros Strain is looking to branch into Iowa soon, but only has a few beers they can sell across the river until the shutdown ends and more labels can be approved.