KITTERY, Maine There's almost $20,000 worth of beer sitting in tanks at Woodland Farms Brewery, and owner Patrick Rowan can't ship it out of state until the federal government shutdown ends.

With nowhere to put new beer until those tanks are emptied, Rowan said he'll have to lay off staff at his Kittery brewery next week unless the shutdown ends first. The batch on hold was the brewery's first attempt at shipping beer out of state, and the beer's labeling needs approval by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau before it's shipped across state lines.

"We're all crossing our fingers," said Rowan. "Who knows when the shutdown is going to end?"

Brewers in the Seacoast and across the country are finding their operations hampered in different ways because their industry relies on federal agencies for licensing. Smuttynose Brewing Co. made it a priority in the last year to put out new releases more frequently as part of its strategy to revitalize its brand, but the shutdown is preventing the company from putting those new beers out in other states. The company distributes in 12 states.

Aubree Giarrosso, Smuttynose's events, retail and brand manager, said the shutdown has also caused the Tax and Trade Bureau's queue to become backed up, meaning approvals that normally take two weeks could take two months.

"Each day that passes increases the risk of great beer being dumped down the drain," said Giarrosso. "Everything depends on the length of the shutdown, which right now is a big, concerning question mark."

The bureau also issues federal brewers licenses, called brewers notices, needed to open any new brewery. SoMe Brewing Company owner David Rowland, Jr., and his father were hoping to open a second brewery this month, York Beach Brewing Company, but now they must wait until the shutdown is over and the bureau goes back into service.

Without the new brewery opening, Rowland said he and his father are paying for two facilities with only one bringing in revenue. He said they may have to open a lounge in their new space at York Beach where he can serve SoMe beer and some food just so they can put the location to use while they pay rent.

"God forbid," said Rowland. "We could at least keep the lights on."

Rowan said he is hopeful state agencies can help his brewery work around the shutdown. Rowan said Maine's Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations is allowing out-of-state beer to be sold in Maine as long as beer makers can show they have at least filed with the Tax and Trade Bureau.

When he learned that, he asked the New Hampshire Liquor Commission if it would allow him to do the same so his beers could be sold in the Granite State. If that does not happen, Rowan said the layoffs will have to happen and Woodland Farms will try and sell its excess beer in Maine until the shutdown ends.

Rowan says the shutdown reveals a need for laws governing the brewing industry to be reexamined so they are less reliant on the federal government. Label approval, for example, he said, should be done at the state level only.

"I think the fact that we need to submit our labels to the Tax and Trade Bureau is a little bit ridiculous," said Rowan. "It's an additional step that doesn't really need to be there."

At York Beach, Rowland's staff is cleaning tanks in hopes the new brewery is ready to start as soon as possible after the shutdown ends. This is the second time his brewery's opening has been hampered by a federal shutdown, the first being when SoMe tried to open during the 2013 shutdown.

Rowland believes the problem is less about the laws and more about federal officials' ability to cooperate for the best interest of the country.

"This could have been avoided if the people that were elected to serve in the House and the Senate would wake up and stop putting party before country," said Rowland. "I hope this has long-lasting effects on Congress and not on us."