Plans to expand business across the border on hold for Tucson brewery during shutdown

Borderlands Brewing Company

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Small businesses in southern Arizona are starting to feel the brunt of the partial government shutdown.

“Small business is the bread and butter of our economy," said Mike Mallozzi, owner of Borderlands Brewing Company in downtown Tucson.

Bread, butter and beer in southern Arizona. For Mallozzi, the shutdown is slowing down a plan to expand his business across the border.

“A bunch of revenue streams that we had worked hard to create are now sort of in jeopardy," said Mallozzi, who spent the last year working on a pilot project to send some of Borderlands’ brews to Sonora, Mexico.

“Restaurants and bars, the craft beer scene in Sonora is exploding right now," said Mallozzi.

But, federal approval would be needed to export to Arizona’s largest trading partner.

Other breweries across the country are also facing a roadblock when it comes to brewing new releases to be shipped across state lines.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is closed because of the government shutdown. That means new labels and formulas for beers and wines that are sent in for approval are not being reviewed.

“The shutdown has impacted the brewing industry probably more than other industries in the country," said Mallozzi.

Mallozzi could also feel the shutdown in his other line of work, as a scientist at the University of Arizona.

His contract is funded through the state, yet the grant comes from federal funding. Mallozzi said the grants are paid ahead of time, so he is funded for this contract, but future funding could be in question.

Borderlands and another local brewing company, Sentinel Peak, are in the process of moving to a new production facility, something that needs approval by both state and federal governments. Luckily, Mallozzi said they got that license, just a few months before the shutdown.

If you are federal employee who could use a beer, Sentinel Peak Brewing Company is offering your first pint for a penny.

We have information on that shutdown special and more around town here.

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