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Government shutdown delays new releases at Wisconsin breweries

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58/AP) -- The nation's craft beer taps are being squeezed by the government shutdown.

The partial shutdown has put new releases on hold, prevented new breweries from opening and stopped shipments of some suds across state lines.

The federal agency that regulates alcohol production and distribution is closed. That means government employees can't issue the permits needed for the beer to flow.

Brewers are nervous that they will lose money if brewery openings and seasonal beers are delayed much longer in the dispute over President Donald Trump's demand for taxpayer funding of a wall along the border with Mexico. It's a concern for the founder and president of Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Russ Klisch.

"If it lingers on throughout the summer, we start bringing out new beers and it will start affecting us more," Klisch said.

Jessica So was visiting Lakefront Brewery from Boston Wednesday. She said it's upsetting that she might not be able to get the new beer release when she goes back home because of the government shutdown.

"You guys can't agree on something so you're affecting my drinking, or just the ability to try stuff or do these normal things I do on a daily basis," So said.

Democratic US Senator Tammy Baldwin said Wednesday that the shutdown is hurting craft breweries across Wisconsin.

"We should vote in the Senate today on house passed legislation and the president should sign it so we can finally end this useless shutdown," Baldwin said.

With no end in sight, Klisch thinks democrats and republicans should go get a cold one and work together to get the government back open.

"I just wish everyone in DC can get together and drink a few beers and get this solved," Klisch said.

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