I normally communicate directly to our members and commercial meaderies, but in this letter, I would like to speak specifically to mead consumers.
This country is in the middle of the longest government shutdown in history and with no reasonable guess as to when it may end. Politics aside, our industry, as well as many others, has been directly affected
in a potentially serious way.
With the TTB being one of the sectors of our government affected by the shut down, meadery owners are unable to receive formula approvals for new recipes, putting their production plans in jeopardy for seasonal mead releases as well as not being to fulfill certain promises to their mead clubs.
Not being able to receive label approvals poses even more potential harm to the livelihood of a meadery business, particularly if they have new products already in production that they haven’t finalized label artwork to have received approval on before the shutdown began. Some meaderies whose State laws permit the sale of alcoholic product without TTB label approvals would be limited to only being able to sell within their own state. Those whose State laws require TTB label approvals or that heavily rely on interstate online sales are in an even more desperate position.
Even once the government shutdown ends, the time TTB will need to run through the backlog of formula and label applications being submitted during this shutdown will still continue to place a significant burden on our industry. All of this can bring about serious rippling effects on a meadery business and their bottom line.
Finally, the ones who would be affected more are new meaderies without enough of a back catalogue of already approved formulas and label approvals, or even worse, those who aren’t even open yet that are paying thousands of dollars a month on just rent alone, still waiting for their TTB permit to be approved…
The overall key objective of the AMMA is to protect and promote mead, and as its President, I am calling on mead consumers around the country to step in and back us up in protecting the welfare of our meaderies.
I urge you to take a step away from trades and secondhand sales for now and visit and support your local meaderies, many of which have even taken efforts in supporting the government workers themselves who are out of work completely or being forced to work without pay.
Our meaderies can really use your support at this time. Collectively and proactively, you can all help make a difference before these matters end up any worse for the industry that we are all a part of one way or another.
President of the American Mead Makers Association