Local breweries losing business because of government shutdown

As the government shutdown heads into its third week, many local breweries are starting to feel the impact. That’s because they rely on federal inspections to make money.

It looks like it’s business as usual at La Cumbre Brewing, but the last few weeks have been slower than normal for the brewery.

“We’ve already held off on the shipment of around $11,000 worth of beer to Arizona and to Colorado,” says Jeff Erway.

Erway is the president and founder of La Cumbre.

He says in order to get his beer shipped out to other states, he has to get the certificates of label approved by the Tax and Trade Bureau.

“Because of the government shutdown, the Tax and Trade Bureau is also shut down, it’s furloughed. Those applications we sent in are not being reviewed at all,” says Erway.

He’s not the only one.

John Gozigian, the Executive Director of the New Mexico Brewers Guild, says La Cumbre, Marble Brewing, Santa Fe Brewing, Bosque Brewing, Sierra Blanca, and others are all being affected.

He says this shutdown is also putting new breweries in a bind since they have to get their permit from the Tax and Trade Bureau.

“As they get closer to their opening date, they’re really going to start feeling the pressure. If they get past their open date and they don’t have their brewers license yet, they’re going to have a tough time because they’re not going to generate revenue to pay their bills,” says Gozigian.

As breweries like La Cumbre continue to wait, the patience is starting to wear off quickly.

“While they’re playing politics, there’s breweries like ours, all across the country, that are suffering because of it,” says Erway.

La Cumbre ships out 300-cases of beer a week to other states. The shutdown has prevented them from doing so.

They can lose anywhere between $10,000 – $30,000 a month.

It takes the Tax and Trade Bureau about three-weeks to approve the labels for beer to be shipped out of state.

KRQE News 13 put in a call to the bureau for comment, but because of the shutdown no one answered or called back.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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