OMG! The Shutdown is Ruining the Craft Beer Industry!

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I joked at the beginning of the shutdown charade — when the Washington Post was peeing its pants in every inch of copy that the world was truly coming to an end — that the only way average America would get upset about the government shutdown was if it took away beer or trash television. OK, I was being cynical.

But it so happens…it so happened!

According to the equally hysterical CBS News, the craft beer industry is “going flat during the government shutdown.” Here is the intent of the article: “what a dirty trick for the evil tea party responsible for the shutdown to play on the American people!”*

As ever, a quick read between the lines reveals the rest of the story — a much more interesting lesson in the perniciousness of the government in the first place:

“…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…”

What? There is a government agency that actually approves the recipes and labels of American craft brewers?

Yes indeed, and without the federal government these breweries cannot come out with new beer concoctions, cannot bottle already approved recipes in 22 ounce bottles instead of 12 ounce bottles, cannot open a new tasting room on the premises, cannot put already-approved recipes into new labels, etc.

But…surprise surprise: the big multinationals are not affected:

“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.”

From the petty federal government closing of parking lots at privately-owned Mt. Vernon to US park police holding busloads of senior citizens and foreign tourists hostage at a private concession in Yellowstone park (Not even a potty break! Jawohl!), the real lesson is to how many obscure and seemingly private places the federal government has applied its jackboot.

Careful American readers may (hopefully) start thinking to themselves, “hmmm, maybe the problem is not the government shutdown, but the government in the first place.” Wouldn’t it be nice if this was the takeaway from this very silly episode — a few more recruits for our position?

*This is not to imply that this writer accepts in any way the binary paradigm of “R” vs “D,” by the way. Just to explain the media spin.

Thanks to Brother Norman for the story.

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2:34 pm on October 11, 2013