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Government shutdown stopping some breweries from releasing new beers

Prairie Artisan Ales in Oklahoma City has $500,000 worth of beer than can't be bottled. (KOKH/Connor Hansen)

The government shutdown is now having an impact on some breweries trying to release new beers.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has been closed.

That's the agency that approves new beers and their labels before they can be distributed.

Prairie Artisan Ales has been brewing beer in Oklahoma since 2012.

And while the government shutdown has dominated headlines recently, it wasn't until the brewery created its last batch, when it realized it would feel the shutdown's affects.

"It wasn't until we had made this new beer, it's in a tank, sitting there waiting before we realized there's no one at the ATB to approve it," said Wade Pierce from Prairie Artisan Ales.

New beers make up about half of the brewery's business.

"That's how we're creative," Pierce said. "Having new beers and having new things to release. That's why people like drinking Prairie beers, because it's always something different and something fun."

You could still see some new beers released at other breweries in town during the shutdown.

Anthem Brewing Company only sells its beer inside the state of Oklahoma, and only needs to get beers approved at the state level.

"We worry more, we have a lot of patrons that come in that have federal jobs," said Derek Duty from Anthem Brewing Company. "We hear more from them, than we really have concern currently for ourselves."

Prairie said it's last batch is sitting at its headquarters in McAlester waiting to be bottled, and costed about $500,000.

That brewery says it's a brownie flavored beer called "Oh Fudge."


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