Brewery plans put on hold for Mac's Creek Winery

Published: Jan. 17, 2019 at 7:20 PM CST
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At Mac's Creek Winery, business has been strong for almost two decades.

"We make about 15 different wines," said owner Max McFarland. "It's a very social beverage and people come here to have a good time and that's what I enjoy about this so much."

So when they began hosting their date nights, they had another idea.

"We hear from one that really enjoys wine, but the other not so much, they would rather have a craft beer," McFarland said. "So a couple of years ago, we put into our business plan that we wanted to open a small brewery."

For the past year, the McFarland's have remodeled and even purchased the equipment for their next endeavor.

"We have the equipment installed, it's hooked up. We're ready to go (laughs)."

The small business is just one of more than 7,000 breweries across the country who are feeling the rippling effects of the historic shutdown.

"We submitted all of our material to the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau I think it was late in October," McFarland said. "The federal government tells us it to takes about 80 days to review that application, so we were in that process certainly. And then the shutdown hit before Christmas and literally everything stopped."

With negotiations at a standstill, the McFarland's have no choice but to wait.

"While it's inconvenient and annoying and frustrating, I think about all of the federal workers across the country who are caught in the crosshairs that has absolutely nothing to do with them, yet they are the one's suffering for it."

McFarland says even if the government were to open tomorrow, it still could be months before they are able to start up their brewery due to the state's pending approval of their application.