Craft Beer is the Latest Casualty of the Government Shutdown

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Nearly three weeks in, the butting of heads in Washington has nullified a number of federal operations. National parks have fallen into disarray; Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees are calling in sick rather than show up to airports to work without pay. Now the government shutdown has claimed yet another casualty: craft beer.

According to Business Insider, the federal approval process for new beers has been halted as a result of the impasse over the contested funding for border security. Labels and recipes for new beers, wines, and other alcoholic beverages are reviewed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which has closed during the shutdown. Without the bureau's stamp of approval, new and seasonal varieties of craft beers cannot be distributed or sold across state lines.

While this is not an issue for larger, mass-market offerings like Budweiser, smaller breweries that rely on an assortment of new flavors are feeling the impact. Interboro Spirits and Ales of Brooklyn releases new beers weekly; If the shutdown continues, their February sales will suffer, eating into their revenues.

But even an immediate resolution to the situation is no guarantee breweries will rebound. Because the bureau is still accepting applications for labels and even new brewery locations requiring certification, breweries will have to wait for the backlog to be cleared before being given approval to resume normal operations. Come summer, that could mean fewer craft beer options and reduced profits for small businesses that depend on a rotating selection of beverages to drive interest and fuel gatherings.

Until the shutdown is resolved, it appears a lot of craft beer will be sitting in inventory, with brewers hoping the political head-butting won’t break any records. The longest government freeze in history came in 1995, when Republicans advanced a budget met with resistance by President Bill Clinton. That lasted 21 days. Clinton later had a craft beer named in his honor, Exile Chill Clinton, which was distributed in Des Moines, Iowa. The brew was infused with 750 hemp seeds.

[h/t Business Insider]

Love Red Wine But Hate the Stains It Leaves on Your Teeth? Wine Wipes Can Help

yula/iStock via Getty Images
yula/iStock via Getty Images

How your mouth looks after a glass of red wine depends on your genes and hygiene habits. People with strong enamel and not a lot of plaque can emerge from a wine bar with a relatively clean smile, but for those of us without those markers of exceptional dental health, red wine usually leaves dark, unsightly stains. If you fall into the latter group, there's a way to enjoy wine and preserve your smile without sticking to whites and rosés.

Using Wine Wipes is a convenient way to remove red wine stains from your teeth. The wipes come in individually wrapped packets like wet wipes. If you suspect your mouth is looking more purple than you'd like it to, tear open a packet, remove the wipe, and rub it over your pearly whites to make them pearly white again. The wipes comes in an orange blossom flavor, which won't spoil your palate in case you want to have another glass of wine or two.

Woman with wine wiping teeth.
Amazon

The Wine Wipes are billed as toothbrush alternative for when you're drinking outside your home, but wiping your teeth may be even better that brushing them if you want to remove wine stains. The bristles of a toothbrush can scratch enamel, creating entry points for dark pigments. While brushing your teeth can help reduce stains if you do it 30 minutes before you start drinking, or after you’ve had your last glass, Wine Wipes can be applied between glasses.

A package of 12 2-inch wipes is now available on Amazon for $5.74. If you want to stay extra prepared, the wipes also come in packs of 36, 48, and 60.

Wine Wipes packet and box.
Amazon

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Host an Epic Summer Party at This 40-Seat Pop-Up Bar—Without Leaving Your Backyard

The Yard Bar
The Yard Bar

Wishing you could go down in history as the host of the best backyard summer bash that your neighborhood has ever seen?

With the Yard Bar, you can. The portable bar, created by husband-and-wife team Andy and Kerri Marin, is 30 feet long, seats up to 40 people, and comes with virtually everything you need for an unforgettable party: wooden bar stools and high-top tables, a flat-screen TV and commercial sound system, recessed lighting, running water, a generator, and plenty of room for a fully stocked bar. And the retractable awning will prevent any actual rain from raining on your parade, wedding, birthday party, or whatever offbeat summer holiday you might be celebrating.

You’ll have to provide the alcohol yourself, but don’t worry if you don’t have much bar-stocking experience—the Marins can work with you to create specialty cocktail recipes for your event, and they’ll even help you figure out how much alcohol you’ll need depending on the size of your party.


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If your own yard isn’t quite ideal for such a legendary affair in the making, feel free to book the Yard Bar for somewhere less conventional. “If you can imagine it somewhere, it can probably go there,” Kerri Marin told Philadelphia Magazine, “It’s even been on top of a boat!”

The simple, rustic elegance of the Yard Bar achieves the perfect blend of indoor warmth and outdoor freshness, and it’s a great solution for people who love the idea of going to a bar, but aren’t so keen on the crowded, rowdy, noisy nature of hordes of strangers drinking in a contained space.

The Marins have seen such success with their Philadelphia-based bar that they’ve now expanded to upstate New York and several areas of Florida, including Orlando, Tampa, and Miami.

If you’d like a portable pub with more of an Irish vibe, be sure to check out The Shebeen or the inflatable PaddyWagon.

[h/t Philadelphia Magazine]

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