GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The partial closure of the federal government is preventing Beer City USA's leading brewer from expanding into its 27th state.
Founders Brewing's launch into Maryland is on hold until the government reopens fully. Founders CEO Mike Stevens says he's got about $67,000 worth of beer waiting to be shipped to Maryland.
"Every day that goes by, we're missing the opportunity to send that load out. I guess in my mind, I'm looking at it and saying the federal government is stopping commerce," Stevens told WZZM 13 Tuesday.
The issue is with Founders' wholesaler in Maryland. They can't get approval to open their new warehouse because of the closure of a department within the Department of Treasury - the Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB.
The shutdown is impacting other craft brewers across the country who need TTB approval for new breweries, recipes and labels.
Stevens wondered Tuesday if Founders should send a keg to Congress. "Throw it down on the floor and say 'let's get this thing figured out.'"