Partial government shutdown affecting your craft beer choices

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Who likes beer? Adam Budgin appreciates the adult beverage, especially the craft variety.

"I'm having an, an Upland Champagne," Budgin told FOX 26 News while enjoying a cold one with his lunch.

There are a lot of craft beers from out of state at The Hay Merchant on Westheimer Road, for now at least. But thanks to the partial federal government shutdown, that is about to change. Microbreweries often make small runs and then roll out the barrel or new product.  

"My dark beer section gets a little bigger when it's dark outside, so people tend ot drink seasonally as far as beer goes, for the most part," said manager Dusty Brittain.

The breweries need federal approval to ship new labels across a state line. Thanks to the shutdown, the federal inspectors are off the job. Some breweries have had to pour thousands of gallons of new production runs down the drain. That's not all.

Houston-based craft brewer 8th Wonder sends a lot of its beer to The Hay Merchant and other Texas joints, but not out of states so the government shutdown has not hurt beer sales. However, 8th Wonder also distills gin and vodka. According to Texas law, they need federal approval to make new products. They have two in the pipeline and they’re going to stay in the pipeline for now.

"We can't release it," said 8th Wonder president, co-founder and self-described hype man for the business Ryan Suroka. "We can’t serve it. We can't manufacture it. So there is no distillation of new products until we can get approval for it."

Suroka also said says it's not the most significant problem caused by the shutdown, but it is another unforeseen consequence of it. It’s one that could affect a lot of people, including Supreme Court Justices.

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