More on the TTB Shutdown: Penrose, Two Brothers and a Call To Action

In Beer News by Karl

Yesterday saw a number of publications distributing an AP piece about how the TTB shutdown is affecting craft brewers. We saw it first yesterday on the Daily Mail site, so that’s the one we’ll link to here. Today, the Beacon News in the west suburbs goes a step further to get some specific — and troublesome — info on how it’s hitting home in Dupage County.TTB logo

Specifically, they speak to the startup process of Penrose Brewing as well as how it’s affecting the rollout of Two Brothers’ holiday beer. As we told you last week, the TTB has to approve all new brewery applications, all beer labels and all unique ingredients to beers, so everything is effectively at a standstill when it comes to releasing new beers and opening new breweries.

From the Beacon’s Stephanie Iulay re: Penrose:

The shutdown won’t keep Penrose from opening on time in late November, but Hobbs’s plans to file paperwork for bottle labels is completely on hold. Two of Penrose’s signature brew formulas — Navette, a Belgian-inspired black ale, and Devoir, a French-styled saison — are sitting with The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau right now, where no one is working to approve them.

The hold-up will likely mean the brewery won’t be able to offer package sales when Penrose Brewing and Tap House in Geneva opens Thanksgiving week, killing their first stab at holiday sales.

This will also likely impact Penrose’s planned Chicago-area rollout via Windy City.

And regarding Two Brothers:

The “failure to fund the government” may also completely keep Two Brothers first-ever holiday beer from hitting stores and restaurants alike this season.

The yet-unnamed chocolate coconut beer has not been approved by the agency, and the brew’s labeling has yet to roll out, too, said Jason Ebel, co-founder of Two Brothers Brewing.

“It’s kind of a bummer. This comes at a bad time of year. Holiday beers traditionally have (obscure) ingredients and this is the time of year that we look at getting this stuff done,” he said.

We haven’t done this in a while, but if the news about this holdup affects you (and since you’re reading this site we’re going to guess the answer is “it does”) and you’re a constituent of the member of Congress who oversees the district that Penrose and Two Brothers operate in, you should probably let them know what you think.

You can do that by checking to see if Rep. Randy Hultgren is your Congressional representative, by going HERE.

Then give his DC office a ring at 202-225-2976 and let them respectfully know that you’d like him to work harder to end the shutdown of the government because dammit, we need our beer.

If you’re not in Hultgren’s district, you can also find your respective representative and breach the subject with them as well. We’re guessing Mike Quigley is fairly interested in this subject too since so many Chicago breweries are within his district’s boundaries, for example (and we felt like mentioning a Democrat, too).

It should go without saying that if breweries like Penrose and Two Brothers are being affected, countless others are being impacted as well — we’ve seen mention from 350 Brewing in Tinley Park and Panic Brewing that this is definitely a holdup.

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About the Author



Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago, AskMen and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers.If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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