LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)– The closure of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau during the government shutdown has disrupted plans for alcohol-related businesses around the country. In Lexington, the co-owners of Wise Bird Cider Company are feeling the effects.
The owners are frustrated because they say each and every day that the government stays shut down, that delays them another day from opening their cidery to the public. Tim and Greta Wright say that they have worked hard to try and open their passion project.
“We’ve been making cider in our kitchen at home for a number of years,” said Tim.
Tim said that the company was set to open in the city’s distillery district this year, but as the government agencies remain closed, their federal license, like the government, is also at a standstill.
“We can’t put anything inside these tanks and start converting that to alcohol until we have the TTB license, and then the Kentucky ABC license,” he said.
Breweries around the nation are stuck in limbo. Many cannot get labels approved for new products.
For the Wrights, Wise Bird’s financial plan is based off opening in April, but they say that could be delayed.
“If we delay our ability to open and sell cider, that’s a delay in revenue that we’re bringing in. That’s also a delay in us being able to hire employees,” Tim said.