"It’s not what our founding fathers like Sam Adams would have wanted!"

By Mike Pomranz
January 09, 2019
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

As we discussed not long after America’s government shutdown began, one unexpected casualty of furloughing federal employees is that it can hinder the release of new beers. Brewers need to go through a label approval process with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) — a federal agency — before products can be sold commercially, and though most breweries take care of this business well in advance, as the shutdown pushes through its third week, the number of new brews that might either be stuck without approval will continue to rise. And if the TTB continues in its limited capacity for long enough, essentially all new releases will be at a standstill.

In a segment from last night’s The Late Show, Stephen Colbert explained how he too had caught wind of this news, and he was not pleased. “First they came for our national parks, and I said nothing because I was drunk on beer,” he quipped. “Then they came for our beer, and I was even drunker. But it’s time for me to take a stand. A keg stand!”

That stand: A takedown of the shutdown that utilized beer brands as key words in the rants. Yes, it’s very reminiscent of that giant poster board card you made with taped on candy bars to wish your grandmother a happy 65th birthday. But it’s with beer. And it’s on network television. So that’s gotta be worth something, right?!

The bit is actually its best when it’s at its worst. “Before [Trump], a shutdown hadn’t happened once in a Blue Moon,” Colbert jokes. “Nothing like this has ever happened under President Busch [sic] or his son, Busch Light [sic].”

Of course, if we were to take this bit seriously, none of the brand’s Colbert uses will actually be affected by the shutdown. The labeling for major brands like Heineken, Guinness, and Natural Light have already been approved and won’t require any changes in the near future, so those beers can remain on store shelves indefinitely. But as they say, never let the truth get in the way of a good story… or in this case, in the way of a goofy late night television segment.

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