MOORESVILLE – It’s enough to drive them to drink.
Things have come to a head for at least half of U.S. craft breweries, who reportedly are prevented from releasing new beers because the federal agency that approves their labels is not operating during the government shutdown.
Nearly 200,000 applications for bottle and can labels poured into the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in 2018. That breaks down to roughly 3,000 requests per week. But since the agency hasn’t been able to tap into those applications, brewers have been forced to sit on their supplies of new brews.
And some of them are hoppin’ mad.
However, that’s not the case for Mooresville-based Jolly Roger Brew.
“We only sell growlers (glass or steel jugs), and they do not require label approval as long as they are not prefilled and have certain information on them,” explained Jolly Roger’s manager, Tony Phillipp.
That’s also why Jolly Roger had the green light this month to begin selling a limited-edition ale in celebration of Clemson’s win over Alabama in the national championship football game Jan. 7.
RoY’all is a strong pale ale with (of course) a hint of orange. The name is a nod to Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s comment in December that when it came to college football, “I definitely think it's Alabama and the rest of y'all.”
That’s not how things worked out this time, with the Tigers winning their second national title in three years.
RoY’all Championship Ale will be sold in a special edition growler whose label also will feature the game’s final score.
And Jolly Roger didn’t have to wait for leaders in Washington to can their political posturing.
Jolly Roger Brew, 236 Raceway Drive, Unit 12, is open 4-7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, or by appointment. For information, call 704-769-0305 or go to www.facebook.com/jollyrogerbrew.