Empty beer on a sunny dayThe federal government shutdown is creating some unintended consequence for craft brewers across the country. The shutdown has closed a small agency that is in charge of approving new breweries, beer recipes and beer labels.

That could mean bad news for some Northern Colorado breweries, but not all of them.

According to Yahoo News, The agency in question is The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and is part of the Treasury Department. They will continue to process taxes from existing permit holders, but who knows if and when any new applications will be processed. Applications for anything new are in limbo. ) Before the shutdown it took the TTB about 75 days to approve an application.)

Basically, any brewers that didn't already have their paperwork figured out back in August might just be out of luck in getting any new brews approved. Once the shutdown is over, who knows how long it will take to get through the backlog of applications that will be piling up.

Yahoo says that New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins has three recipes and five new labels awaiting approval including their new spring label, Spring Blonde, which might have to have it's release pushed back.

Equinox Brewing in Fort Collins is one of the breweries not feeling the effects of the TBB shutdown. Shannon Westcott at Equinox said, "At Equinox we sell all of our beer in house or kegs.  The departments that license new breweries or approve bottle labels and recipes for bottled beers has been closed.  We don't bottle or widely distribute beer so we don't require label approval.  The shut down doesn't have an impact on our business."

The Coloradoan reports that Odell Brewing has two beers stranded in the approval process.

Steve Jones at Pateros Creek Brewing said they aren't getting hit as hard as some breweries, but they have a popular pumpkin ale called Owl Canyon that they were planning on doing some cans for, but they can't get the label approved so it probably won't be happening.

It sounds like some of our beloved breweries have a pretty big hassle in front of them, while others won't be affected at all. Hopefully none of them will be badly hurt by this little development.

I guess your best plan of action, if you want to help, is to go support your favorite local brewery. Take one for the team!