Craft brewing put on hold with government shutdown
When Mac's Creek Winery in Lexington put together its plan to start brewing beer, they had a lot of scheduling to do.
Having the brewery up and running by Jan. 1 was the goal, but now the most recent government shutdown has put their plans on hold.
With the brewery built, and equipment already purchased and delivered, there is only one step left for Mac's Creek to get brewing new craft beers – approval from the TTB or Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
The only problem is the TTB is one of several organizations shuttered in the most recent shutdown and now all applications for new breweries are put on hold, causing frustration for a Mac's Creek brewery that is ready for operation.
"So we are trying to make the expansion and grow as the small business that we are and it is frustrating. We are ready to go and this part of it is certainly on hold for the time being," said owner of Mac's Creek Max McFarland.
Those challenges aren't just making things hard for Mac's Creek, but the community of Lexington as well.
Sarah Neben of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce has had to deal with several frustrated beer enthusiasts who were expecting an open brewery by now.
"Lots of people have been asking me when are they gonna open when is the brewery side open and we have been saying the first of January but at this point we have had to say now we don't know. Its frustrating for them but its also frustrating for everyone who is eagerly anticipating that opening," said Neben.
With 16 years of winery experience, Max McFarland knows the importance of proper regulations and oversight, but he says its hard for him to see the border wall debate cause so much harm for small businesses.
"its an issue that has to be resolved its incredibly important. If i could wave my magic wand I feel like they need to take that issue, debate that thing till we come to some closure on a positive functional approach to the issue of immigration, but not keep small businesses and individuals, my gosh the government employees, in the crossfire in the meantime," said McFarland.
Unfortunately for the folks at Mac's Creek the only thing they can do now is wait, but they say they are ready to flip the switch and start brewing as soon as their application is approved.