A beer shortage in Minnesota?
It would seem so after reports surfaced that one consequence of the ongoing government shutdown in Minnesota is that breweries, distillers, distributors and liquor and beer stores don't have licensing authority to keep selling alcohol.
And one big brewer - MillerCoors - is apparently caught in the middle of it.
Minnesota state officials have told MillerCoors that it must come up with a plan to remove its beer from store shelves because the brewer failed to renew its brand license with the state before the shutdown.
But MillerCoors spokesman Julian Green said those reports were false. It's business as usual for MillerCoors in Minnesota for now, he said.
Green said the company complied with all applicable state laws, sent its registration and fees to the state on time and is working with Minnesota authorities to clear up the matter.
"We are feeling the pain just like other licensees, but we are working with the state to clear this up," Green said.
Green said Minnesota is one of the brewer's largest markets. "We have pretty significant volume there," Green said.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that thousands of liquor outlets in the state scrambled to renew their state-issued liquor purchasing cards, but didn't make it in time before the government shut down.
"It's going to cripple our industry," Frank Ball, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, told the Star Tribune.
There are also reports that Anheuser-Busch will face a similar problem as MillerCoors if the government shutdown lingers, the newspaper reported.