Local breweries have been losing out on business due to the government shutdown. Now, an upcoming New Mexico brewery can’t even open.
“Ex Novo started in 2014 in Portland and we grew and grew and sort of reached a max capacity,” says Joel Gregory.
The New Mexico native decided it was time to come back to the Land of Enchantment and to bring his brewery success story with him.
“We’re trying to get open as soon as possible. So we’re shooting for March, early March,” says Gregory.
As of now, Gregory, founder of Ex Novo Brewing Company, can’t do that.
His Corrales location’s debut came to a halt when the government partially shutdown nearly a month ago.
“Every brewery, winery, distillery, has to have a federal license to operate… to even brew any beer much less sell it,” he says.
Gregory says he’s been waiting for the license since October, but as long as the shutdown drags on, he won’t get it.
“We’re almost certainly going to be ready to go before we have that approval. Honestly, we can’t do anything. I can’t hire four brewers I need to run. I have one on staff right now and there needs to be other jobs that are filled for packaging and brewing,” he says.
Gregory says the longer his Corrales spot isn’t operating, the more money he’ll end up losing. That also adds up to rent he can’t pay.
“It’s more about the lost revenue potential. Every month, at least $100,000, if not more,” he says.
Not to mention the potential employees on deck who are eager to earn a paycheck.
“It matters to us. It matters to the people we want to hire and employ. A dozen people can’t work until this is over,” Gregory says.
Like many, Gregory says he has no choice but to wait it out.
“It’s not ideal. It’s really nerve-racking to just have no assurance of when any of this is going to be over,” he says.
The alcohol industry isn’t the only one feeling the effects of the shutdown.
The FDA hasn’t been able to inspect certain foods like seafood, fruits, and vegetables. That means it’s at a higher risk of contamination.
The partial government shutdown began December 22.