by Dan Gibson
It would appear that the Republican Party is unwilling to deal with the mad men prepared to drive the country straight off a cliff, and while an impending credit default, the totally screwed-up inability of the government to pay death benefits to the families of those killed in combat, the closing of the national parks, and all the other totally avoidable stupid bullshit that's been a part of this fiasco are bad enough, it turns out these morons are keeping us from enjoying new and delicious craft beer now as well:
Stores will still offer plenty of suds. But the shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry, whose customers expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers....
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, is a little-known arm of the Treasury Department. The agency will continue to process taxes from existing permit holders, but applications for anything new are in limbo.
"One could think of this shutdown as basically stopping business indefinitely for anyone who didn't have certain paperwork in place back in mid-August," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, which represents more than 1,900 U.S. breweries....
The closing isn't expected to have much effect on industry giants such as MillerCoors or Anheuser-Busch. They can continue to produce existing products as usual. But the shutdown poses a huge problem for craft brewers, who build their businesses by producing quirky, offbeat flavors and introducing new seasonal beers, sometimes as often as every quarter.
GET THE PITCHFORKS AND TORCHES READY, PEOPLE. It's time to fix this mess right now, one way or another. I'm definitely not cool with total economic collapse and I get that those Tea Party types aren't generally into drinking or fun or whatever, but if this crap is going to stand in the way of beers I haven't had the chance to enjoy, I'm not going to be able to cope terribly well.