Local rum on hold thanks to government shutdown

CHARLESTON, Ore. -- Rum from a new distillery is going to have to wait before it can hit shelves.

The new Stillwagon Distillery in Charleston had hoped to open up shop already, but because the government is still shut down, the labels for the rum can't be approved.

Richard Stillwagon, the owner and operator, says business is at a standstill. "We have 100 gallons sitting in there waiting to go," he said.

The Tax and Trade Bureau usually takes up to six weeks to approve a label, but Stillwagon had already been waiting. "Plus the backlog they're going to have now, so, we're probably looking at least another two months," he said.

Stillwagon is also waiting on the federal government to adjust a bond so he can get licensed to sell directly to the public. "That will allow us to have people come in, taste the rum and purchase here as well as at the liquor stores."

Even though it can't be sold yet production will continue. "It has to cycle," said Stillwagon. "It has to age from anywhere from two months to a year, depending on the type of rum."

Stillwagon says he doesn't even want to think about the revenue he would have made if he wasn't waiting. "It's frustrating, you know, it's something that shouldn't have happened and it has, and it's affecting obviously millions of Americans, not just myself," he said.

The upside? Stillwagon says with the rum just sitting here, it's only going to taste that much better.