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Oregon Congressmen Put Pressure On Regulators To Help Craft Brewers After Shutdown

Alec Cowan

The government officially reopened Monday and this is good news for craft brewers across the state of Oregon. Even as business picks up where it left off, KLCC’s Alec Cowan reports on how one of the state’s largest industries is hoping for a long-term solution.

Deschutes Brewery is one of Oregon’s biggest exporters of beer. The end of the shutdown is welcome news, because without approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, brewers can’t license new products to be sold outside of Oregon. Deschutes CEO Michael Lalonde says they’re waiting on a cidery license and 12-13 additional beers.

MICHAEL LALONDE: “Innovation is a big part of what we do in craft beer, so we need to continue to do that, and if the TTB is not approving those different beers then all of us are in a world of hurt.”

The craft brewing industry brings in close to $4.5 billion of economic impact to Oregon. The government now has three weeks to go through the country’s labels before another potential shutdown.

PETER DEFAZIO: “They can’t clear out the backlog in three weeks."

Credit Alec Cowan
U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio spoke about employees affected by the shutdown last Friday.

Oregon’s U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio is co-chair of the Small Brewer’s Caucus. He’s spoken to the TTB about regulatory forbearance.….

PETER DEFAZIO: “...which is let them go forward and then you come back and review their applications later.”

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is also putting pressure on the TTB.

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