Admit it; if your restaurant serves beer, that has to be one of your biggest profit-margins. A consistent seller, alcohol is there for the good times and the not-so-good times, whether it be a major sporting event with friends or coworkers having a last beer before one of their own moves off to a new job. Many customers will order more than one, and you’re more than willing to encourage that, as long as they’re staying within limits of sobriety, or have a ride.
If you’re a local restaurant and not part of a chain, you may even pride yourself on your variety of local craft beers available. With the government shutdown, however, you may be limited in your options. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Treasury Department is the branch of the government that approves new recipes, labels, and breweries is currently quiet, the Huffington Post reports. The agency is continuing to process taxes from existing business, but won’t be taking on any new ones. Big companies have plans long in advance for new drinks, but craft beer companies often release smaller batches more seasonally, catching the “limited availability” publicity.
The Huffington Post reports that people have already been complaining about 75 day waits on applications, which will undoubtedly take much longer now. In some cases, seasonal beers might not be approved until after the season’s well and done.
The government isn’t just slow on approving new beers; they do keep the everyday consumer in mind. At least, Michigan lawmakers have the best interests of the beer-drinking public at heart with a new bill they’ve proposed. According to Gawker, a new bill in Michigan would guarantee that any time any customer orders a pint of beer, it would have to be 16 ounces… the definition of a pint. This amendment to the Liquor Control Act.
It’s hard to imagine this bill proposition not coming from a representative having ordered a beer at a restaurant and finding it lacking under the actual traditional amount that a pint includes. Gawker goes on to report that a similar bill was proposed (but failed) in Oregon six years ago, while the UK regulates the concept of the Imperial Pint. The bill does have its detractors, such as those who say the pint is more of a concept that an exact measurement.
Have you found yourself in a sticky situation because of the government shutdown? Possibly, are you a Michigan bartender who’ll have to order new pint glasses if this law goes into effect? Alcohol is a tightly-regulated industry, and every bar and most restaurants are a necessary part of that industry. Let us know your opinions.