The Ugly Mug, a popular bar near the Minnesota Twins stadium, doesn’t have enough beer to get it through the baseball stadium — an unfortunate and unforeseen consequence of Minnesota’s 13-day government shutdown.
“Our inventories are diminishing rapidly over the next month,” owner Erik Forsberg told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “The biggest frustration I’m having is that it doesn’t seem like there’s any progress — nobody seems to be talking to each other.”
The Ugly Mug is one of about 300 restaurants, bars, and stores that are running out of beer and alcohol because they failed to renew their state-issued liquor-purchasing card when the state government shut down July 1.
With budget talks at a stalemate, these businesses are looking at a long stretch of steadily dwindling liquor supplies and profits. The number of expired licenses is expected to grow to at least 425 by the end of the month.
To make matters worse, Miller-Coors has to pull all of its beer from Minnesota shelves and bars since its brand licence expired a few days ago, KSTP TV in Minneapolis reports. The company’s licensing renewal fee wasn’t processed before the government closed.
If the shutdown drags on much longer, cigarettes may also be in short supply. The shutdown has forced the state to stop issuing the tax stamps that distributors must stick to the bottom of every pack of cigarettes.
The loss of millions of dollars in alcohol and cigarette taxes could be devastating for Minnesota’s already lagging revenues.
Negotiations to end the shutdown remain at an impasse with no new talks scheduled between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican state lawmakers. Dayton is touring the state today to talk to Minnesotans about his budget compromise proposal.
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