Southern AZ distiller frustrated due to government shutdown

Frustration builds for Elgin distillery

ELGIN, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is a federal agency and among their many jobs, managing and regulating the production and sales of alcohol is one of them.

However, since the government shutdown began, it has not answered the request of vineyards, brewers and distillers across the U.S. and even here in Arizona.

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau normally regulates issues for Mark Beres' flying Leap Vineyard in Elgin, who says it is usually on a weekly or daily basis.

"The labeling of an alcohol product is highly regulated, a lot of people may not know that everything on the label is very highly regulated by the TTB," said Beres.

His main issue right now, cases of an apple brandy that he cannot sell. It is a new product and before he puts a price on it, the label has to be approved by the federal government, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau specifically.

“We want to get this product moving and it’s not doing me any good sitting in my store room unsold,” he said. “I am a business guy, I have to convert this into cash and not being able to do that frustrates me.”

With the government shutdown potentially over, Flying Leap wants to get their product on the shelves, as soon as possible.

There may be a further issue with that, a possible backlog from other distilleries, vineyards and even breweries trying to get labels for their own products.

“We will just see in those three weeks if we are able to get to our specimens that we submitted and then issue a cola to us and boom we can get them printed and get the product moving,” Beres said. “But if not we are just going to have to keep waiting.”

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.