UPDATED: It’s almost like prohibition is slowly returning to Minnesota

It looks like a new unseen consequence of Minnesota’s government shutdown has appeared: many bars, restaurants and stores across the state are running out of alcohol.

According to the Minneapolis StarTribune:

In the days leading up to the shutdown, thousands of outlets scrambled to renew their state-issued liquor purchasing cards. Many of them did not make it.

Now, with no end in sight to the shutdown, they face a summer of fast-dwindling alcohol supplies and a bottom line that looks increasingly bleak.

“It’s going to cripple our industry,” said Frank Ball, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which represents thousands of liquor retailers in the state.

The Ugly Mug, a popular bar near Target Field, doesn’t have enough beer to get through the baseball season.

There are still plenty of places in Minnesota to buy your booze, but it’s only a matter of time until their licenses need replacing and their stocks dwindle. There are efforts being made to find a solution in case the shutdown doesn’t end (read the article to learn about those) but it’s possible those won’t work. If this shutdown lasts for months, the number of establishments affected could rise from 300 to a thousand or even thousands as their licenses expire.

To all the people of Minnesota: I hope your goverment finds a solution. But, if it doesn’t, just hop on Interstate 94 and come west to North Dakota. We’ve got plenty of alcohol and we’re happy to share.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Anyone who enjoys Miller Lite, Coors or MGD in Minnesota had better stock up while they still can.  

The AP reports that MillerCoors it has to pull its products from bars, restaurants and stores across Minnesota because the company’s permit couldn’t be renewed before the shutdown.

This means an entire company’s wares are to be removed from sale because of a failure of leadership in St. Paul and dozens of businesses will be affected. I wonder if MillerCoors is only the first company that will be affected. It may be a matter of time until products from InBev/Budweiser and other companies are cut off. There are also plenty of small breweries in Minnesota that may (let us hope not) have to shut down sales, close their doors and tell their employees to go home.

This is not the sort of thing you want happening during a fragile economy recovery.

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One Response to UPDATED: It’s almost like prohibition is slowly returning to Minnesota

  1. Cam says:

    Time for the Bandit and Snowman to make another run. Seriously, if the MN state government will not function to perform it’s duty, then they do not have the right to deny private businesses from conducting generally-accepted business as usual. If a business has a valid liquor license, then any extension of that should be ASSUMED until gov’t decides that they can function. Gov’t is there to serve us, not us to serve them. This whole shutdown should open your eyes to gov’t attitude, and also people’s attitudes. People can’t be timid sheep just because gov’t takes a nap. Businesses may have to do what they need to. Couple other things. I hear that state employees have filed for unemployment. Does this mean that they are completely cut from the state books? Did they have to cash in their vacation and sick time, and file for COBRA? If not, then how can this not be considered “unpaid leave”? Will everybody have to interview for their jobs once this is over, if those jobs remain? Watch for more of the differences between govt jobs and private industry. Inquiring minds want to know. Such as how and why the State would shut down operations that actually bring in new money (and not taxes), like state park camping fees and fishing license sales. Go figure.