Trouble Brewing: Is Minnesota Running Out Of Beer?

Faced with a nearly two week old government shutdown, many Minnesotans might plan to crack open a cold one and wait for the storm to pass. Easier said than done. The Star Tribune  of Minneapolis reports that restaurants, bars and stores are unable to renew their alcohol purchasing cards due to the statewide government shutdown. The cost for the card is only $20, however several establishments were caught with cards that expired on June 30th and if the shutdown continues more will expire at the end of July. In other words, a few of those friendly Minnesotans might become a lot less friendly.

The Star Tribune also reports that The Ugly Mug, a popular bar near the Minnesota Twins' Target Field, may not have enough beer to last them through the baseball season. Frank Ball, the executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association told the Tribune, "It's going to cripple our industry." KSTP TV in Minneapolis reports that Miller-Coors will have to remove their brands from Minnesota shelves since they failed to pay their 30 dollar brand license fee prior to the state shutdown.

Minnesotans may choose to cope with their government shutdown and dwindling alcohol supply by lighting up a cigarette and smoking their cares away. Not so fast. Due to the shutdown the state can no longer issue the tax stamps that distributors must put on retail cigarettes. This could reportedly be a problem as soon as Labor Day. Minnesota is now faced with losing millions in alcohol and cigarette tax revenue.

The is the second state government shutdown in the past six years for Minnesota residents. Much like their cold winters, they've weathered this before. Some may choose to see the glass half empty, others half full. Either way, in a matter of months, there's a good chance that glass won't be full of beer.