How the US government’s shut down is wreaking havoc with the spirits industry
By Francine Cohen
Think that just because you’re not one of the 800,000 “non-essential personnel” furloughed during the government shut down this week that you and your hospitality/liquor industry brethren and the customers you serve won’t feel the sting? Think again.
While you’re all still expected to be at your job as normal, and it doesn’t seem evident that anything much has changed on a day to day basis, OND sales numbers, product innovation, and revenue (brand and tax revenue) is going to be down this year. Not to mention the possibility of product shortages. There’s no telling yet just how hard we’ll be hit. But it’s certain you’ll see the impact in some way.
Though it is highly unlikely you’re in the same boat as Allison Evanow of Square One Organic Spirits (www.squareoneorganicspirits.com) and Brian Facquet of Prohibition Distillery (www.prohibitiondistillery.com), two craft distillers in the delegation organized by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (www.discus.org) to present their handcrafted products to VIPs at Berlin’s Bar Convent next week who were just notified that the venue had changed from the American Embassy to the Berlin Hilton thanks to our legislators not coming to consensus, the impact of this government shut down won’t go unnoticed.
Maybe it’ll be noticeable bare spots on your shelves because imported products are tied up at port. That’s a problem that Lizzie Asher, President of Macchu Pisco (www.macchupisco.com), is presently facing. Or maybe you’re a retailer awaiting holiday VAPs to fill your shelves in one of the busiest selling seasons of the year and those new products simply aren’t available. Producers who live and breathe for those on and off premise account sales are certainly feeling it now. Jason Johnstone-Yellin of Single Cask Nation (www.singlecasknation.com) notes, “Single Cask Nation has product sitting at the Glenfarclas distillery that cannot be imported before TTB approval is received. Further, our US-sourced Chanukah releases are delayed while we wait to Continue Reading…