The TTB is my new favorite government agency.
We got our federal brewing license approved yesterday. Government shutdown be damned!
So here’s how it all went down. I submitted the mountain of paperwork that is the Brewer’s Notice back in September. I mailed in the very last piece of paperwork necessary (the Brewer’s Bond) on September 30th. The government shut down on October 1st, so our application went untouched. It was sadness.
The average time to process a Brewer’s Notice right now, according to the TTB’s website, is 78 days. We didn’t know if the shutdown would last days, weeks, or months. We were freaking out, to be honest.
In desperation, Tim emailed every one of our government representatives to explain the implications of not getting our federal licensing in time to start brewing beer in January. Much to our amazement, we got a call back from a staffer at Congressman Patrick McHenry’s office who said they would be sending us some forms to fill out that would allow them to contact the TTB on our behalf as soon as the government reopened. We were like, sure yeah okay!!
Government reopens October 17th. About a week later, we hear back from the congressman’s office again. They’ve contacted the TTB, explained our situation, and the TTB says they’ll flag our application for an expedite, and they foresee no issue in having our licensing approved in time for us to brew beer in January. Sweet! A couple days later, I get notice from the TTB that they’ve received all our application materials and they’ve begun processing it.
To my great surprise, on Monday November 4th, I get a call from the TTB. They need a few more questions answered and a couple bits of additional paperwork. I send it off to them that afternoon. Then yesterday November 6th, I get another call from them that my application was approved. I was like, “Great! So… what’s the next step in the process?” The response was, “Um, well, there is no next step as far as the federal side is concerned. Your Brewer’s Notice has been approved.” Like, donesies.
Totally crazy shit.
From the day the government reopened, it took 20 days for our Brewer’s Notice to be approved. That’s got to be some sort of record. I’m still in shock that it really happened that fast. It’s amazing, because now we will have no problem getting our city and state licensing in time to start brewing beer in January. We have way more than enough time. Fabulous!
Anyway, it was nice to have something actually go our way in this startup process for once. Most everything else has not gone quite as smoothly, so we’re just going to revel in this small victory for now.