The Government Shutdown Could Stall the Release of Seasonal Craft Beers from Michigan

At least one Michigan craft brewery outside of Lansing is feeling the effects of the government shutdown.

Nicole Rupersburg

Click the audio player above to hear the full conversation. CultureShift airs weekdays 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on 101.9 WDETFM Detroit public radio.

At least one Michigan craft brewery is feeling the effects of the government shutdown.

Old Nation Brewery, which is based outside of Lansing in Williamston, were planning to ship their popular double brown ale across state lines.

But that can’t happen without label approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which is part of the U.S. Treasury Department — one of the nine federal agencies affected by the shutdown.

CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper speaks with Old Nation owner Travis Fritts about how the government shutdown is affecting the brewery.

“Until these labels are approved, we can’t sell this beer,” explains Fritts. “That is the problem for craft brewers.” 

According to Fritts, their bottom line hasn’t been hit too hard — but that’s because Old Nation is “expanding into markets with brands that are already TTB approved.”

“For us it’s not as big of a problem as it is for a lot of brewers on our tier who are depending on spring releases,” he says.  

Click on the audio player above to hear more about how Michigan craft breweries like Old Nation Brewery are adapting to the government shutdown. 


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.