Cherry Street Brewing received some good news Friday.
With the announcement by President Donald Trump that he and Congress had reached a deal to end the record-long partial government shutdown, Cherry Street’s federal application to serve beer at its highly-anticipated second location in the Halcyon Forsyth development isn’t stuck anymore.
As Trump and congressional leaders sparred for 35 days over border security funding, myriad stories emerged of the shutdown’s impact on citizens, particularly on the approximately 800,000 federal employees, many of whom were forced to work without pay.
A shortage of air traffic controllers forced major airports to cancel some commercial flights, while ever-more absences by TSA screeners caused long wait times in security lines. National parks were going without maintenance.
The brewery industry felt the effects of the partial shutdown, too. Breweries were ready to offer new products but unable to without a Certificate of Label Approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which had closed. New breweries have been ready to open their doors but couldn’t without their federal permit.
“(The shutdown) is hurting some businesses, for sure,” said Nick Tanner, brewmaster and co-owner of Cherry Street.
Cherry Street was not in as precarious a position as some. It doesn’t sell products out of the state, so by Georgia law any new product at its Vickery Village location doesn’t require a federal label.
And even if Cherry Street’s federal permit for its new location at Halcyon Forsyth was stuck, Tanner said they could brew more product at the Vickery Village facility and send it through the three-tier distribution system required for alcohol to the new location.
Now, with the government set to reopen, Tanner is confident that the federal permit for Cherry Street’s Halcyon Forsyth location will be processed before the new brewery opens, which is slated for late March.
At least for now — the deal between Trump and congressional leaders funds the government through Feb. 15 while the two sides reopen negotiations over border security.
“I think we’re OK right now,” Tanner said. “I don’t think we’re going to be running into too much trouble. But if (the federal shutdown) goes months, that’s where we’re going to run into some stuff.”