Texas Drinkers Beware: Government Shutdown Hits Beer, Wine and Spirits Production

WASHINGTON — As a partial government shutdown grows ever longer over President Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall, the lapse in federal funding is starting to ripple through the U.S. in some unexpected ways.Just ask the alcohol industry in Texas and beyond about a problem that is proving to be more than pint-sized.Some wineries, breweries and other producers are jammed up by the closing of a Treasury Department agency — part of the 25 percent of the federal budget that’s unfunded — that approves labels for new products to be sold across state lines and permits for new booze-related facilities.Certain new beers and wines can’t be released, though customers might not notice the delay for some time. Fledgling construction and expansion projects are sidelined. Business plans, cash flows and even jobs may be in jeopardy.The bottom line: Even a partial government shutdown has a long reach.“They talk about it being only 25 percent of the agencies being affected — and that’s all,” said Mike McHenry, founder of Wedding Oak Winery, a Hill Country operation that’s being hit by the shutdown. “But if it’s the agency for your particular business, then you’re impacted.”  Continue reading...

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