Government shutdown impacts local brewery

Mosinee Brewing Company's federal license remains in process, therefore they can't brew their own recipes yet.

Investor Jacquelyn Forbes Kearns at the bar of the Mosinee Brewing Company. MWC photo by Mike Leischner.
Investor Jacquelyn Forbes Kearns at the bar of the Mosinee Brewing Company. MWC photo by Mike Leischner.

MOSINEE, WI (WSAU) -- For some, impacts of the now three-week-old partial government shutdown have been few and far between, but for others, it's putting a real crunch on their business.

That includes the recently-opened Mosinee Brewing Company.

Owners of the bar, brewhouse, and event space were hoping to start pouring their own IPAs, Porters, and Ales by now. But because of the shutdown, they are still waiting on their federal brewer's license.

"Some of the key agencies are on shutdown, including the TTB [Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau], which is the entity that will be issuing our federal brewing license," said Owner and President Jacquelyn Forbes Kearns. "We actually tested our system with water on New Year's Eve, everything is working perfectly. We have all this beautiful, high-tech equipment that we cannot use at the moment. It's a disappointment, to say the least."

With no end to the shutdown in sight, Forbes Kearns says there's no telling when they will be able to roll out their own recipes on tap. Until then, she says they will continue to serve 16 different Wisconsin-made beers and four non-alcoholic offerings including craft soda, coffee, and kombucha.

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Forbes Kearns says the most disappointing thing about the situation might be when she has to tell visitors who have come from far and wide that they don't have any of their own beers on tap yet.

"We have [had] customers from all over, not just Wisconsin. We actually had two couples from Montana the other night, but everybody has been understanding [of the situation]."

"We see ourselves as a regional destination, and we have a lot of exciting recipes that we plan on doing," she adds.

Once the TTB is re-opened Forbes Kearns expects that it will still take a few weeks before they can restart the application, saying it should be "very close to the end of the process." There's also a state permit that needs to be granted, but that comes after the federal permit.

"We have been in contact with the State Department of Revenue, and have begun that process [as well]. We are working on it to the degree that we can, all the papers are in process."

When they are able to tap their own kegs, Forbes Kearns says they will post a message to the Brewing Company's Facebook page. Whenever that may be.