Minnesota Bars Running Out of Beer – Side Effect of Government Shutdown

Talk about your all-time buzzkills… literally.  Minnesota bars are running out of beer?  Who knew state government had their hands in those pockets?  Oh wait.  It’s government.  Nothing’s surprises me anymore.

On balance, I hadn’t thought of this unfortunate side of things.  Governments regulate the sale and distribution of everything from liquor and beer to cigarettes.  No government = no beer, liquor, and cigarettes.  Rum-running speakeasies for anyone?


Hundreds of bars, restaurants and stores across Minnesota are running out of beer and alcohol and others may soon run out of cigarettes — a subtle and largely unforeseen consequence of a state government shutdown.

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.

Come Labor Day, cigarette smokers will be in the same bind.

The state has stopped issuing the tax stamps that distributors must glue to the bottom of every pack before it’s sold for retail.


As if Minnesota wasn’t depressing enough already… No beer for Twins games?  Unthinkable.

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  2 comments for “Minnesota Bars Running Out of Beer – Side Effect of Government Shutdown

  1. Georgie Andrist
    July 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Dayton inherited this financial mess from T-Paw!! It is time to compromise…some new taxes for the rich (who have countless loopholes) & some cuts to current spending, like research. As a state employee for 29+ years, I would be more than willing to give up 2 state holidays (floating & day after Thanksgiving) to help balance the budget.

    • July 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks for the comments Georgie. While I could not support raising taxes on anyone as a way to balance the budget, it does seem that the problem in Minnesota is not simply the result of one bad budget year. I think it probably reflects the imprudence demonstrated by many state governments – and the federal government for that matter – that calculating budget surplus and shortfall on a ten-year scale is simply tested, flawed, and broken. It leaves far too much to the whims of either party when power shifts from one to the next. Special interests of both are the only end served – and certainly not the people.

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