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Shutdown stalling beer production at Clearwater brewery

The government shutdown is holding up beer re-branding at Big Storm Brewing.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The shutdown has even found a way to mess with your beer.

Big Storm Brewing is one of many breweries across the county waiting for the feds to get back to work.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau or TTB is closed.

That means they're not able to process permits, approve new beers, or sign off on new labels.

That's exactly why production is stalling at Fat Point Brewing, a Punta Gorda brewery owned by Big Storm in Clearwater.

L.J. Govoni, a partner with Big Storm says it's unfortunate timing.

"We were looking to start a relaunch of the Fat Point brand before March 1st. Unfortunately, that's probably going to be pushed back now as we need federal approval to our cans themselves, the artwork, the description, the actual language we use on the can."

Big Storm is giving Fat Point beers an upgrade, changing the current bright-colored cans to a more neutral look.

While recognizing that beer business isn't anything critical, Govoni believes people are passionate about breweries.

"People wait for beers. People wait for releases. People get excited in a way that no restaurant could do, no chain could do. You're as hyperlocal and tied to the fabric of that community."

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