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Why Brexit Could Mean Bad News for Your Favorite Beer

Um, a pint glass full of politics sure sounds refreshing....

As everyone tries to make sense of what Brexit will actually mean, how about we all just take a break and have a beer? Oh wait, beer may never be the same again after Brexit. At least that's what a pair of UK-based brewers suggest in an interview with NBC News that sheds light on what craft beer brewers are worried will happen to them post-Brexit.

"It's very frightening to know that the entire basis of our business could be up in smoke in a few months," Sasha Kocho-Williams of Seren Brewing Company told NBC News. The ex-New Yorker owns the craft brewery in Wales with her husband Ali, and the couple buys all of the equipment and ingredients—from the stainless steel fermentation vessels to the malt and hops they use to make the beer, to the bottles they sell it in—in Italy, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. With Brexit, they worry that import tariffs and new trade deals with unfavorable terms could wreck their business—a fear that other small-business owners like them are grappling with as they attempt to sort out the possible implications, including positive and negative ones, of the vote.

Seren describes its product as "good beer on a small scale with no fancy bells and whistles, just pure ingredients, hard work and distinctive flavours." The Brexit vote has the potential to affect how deceptively simple-sounding craft beers like this one are made, how they taste, where and how they're sold, and whether they can last.

"It would almost certainly have an immediate impact while things are up in the air, which we probably wouldn't survive," Ali told NBC. "The big problem with small business is the uncertainty that leaving the EU would entail. It could destroy us...President Obama said it might take 10 years to negotiate new trade deals. We don't have the time to wait."

[h/t FWx.]

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