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Norris McLaughlin Liquor Lawyers Address Government Shutdown’s Impact on Alcohol Manufacturers and Proposed Pennsylvania Sales Tax on Breweries

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Liquor law attorneys Matthew B. Andersen, Esquire, and Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire were quoted in a number of publications discussing the impact the government shutdown is having on breweries, wineries, and distilleries as well as Pennsylvania’s proposed sales tax on brewery sales. Matt was recently quoted in The Morning Call, “Hopping mad over the government shutdown yet? Craft brewers could be feeling it next,” and Breweries in Pennsylvania,  “HOW THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IS IMPACTING PENNSYLVANIA CRAFT BEER. Ted was quoted in The Reading Eagle, “Government shutdown hits Berks breweries, wineries and distilleries,” and interviewed the proposed sales tax on PBS39, “Fight Brewing Over Pennsylvania’s Brewpub Craft Beer Tax,”

For some background, on December 21, 2018, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) closed as part of the United States government shutdown. The TTB, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, is a federal agency that approves applications from distilleries, breweries, and wineries for operational permits, new beverage labels, beverage formula approvals and collects taxes. Due to the shutdown, applications for beer labels aren’t being reviewed, delaying the release of new beers. Alcohol manufacturers that have pending applications with the TTB are waiting to open, with no definitive end in sight, because new businesses must obtain a permit from the federal government prior to manufacturing alcohol for sale. The ultimate result of the government shutdown on the alcohol industry is yet to be determined, but there will certainly be delays in the processing of applications by the TTB as it works through the backlog of applications that are pending during the shutdown.

For additional information regarding this matter, any federal and Pennsylvania liquor law matters, or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact Ted Zeller at or Matt Andersen at or call our offices at 610-391-1800.