MillerCoors kicked Off State Shelves Due To Shutdown
As the little kids we elected to office continue to engage in a peeing contest, more businesses are impacted by the shutdown. Recently we reported that many bars will soon run out of liquor due to the shutdown. Now the impact may be felt sooner by MillerCoors. Again, this could cost the state a lot of money due to lost revenue from the sale of these very popular brands. If I were MillerCoors, I would keep going and make the state physically send people to take product off shelves.
The MillerCoors brewing company landed in the cross hairs of Minnesota's government shutdown Wednesday when state officials said it would have to stop selling its beer in the state because of expired licenses.
The Department of Public Safety told the brewer it must stop distribution in Minnesota and devise a plan to pull its product from the shelves, including Coors, Coors Lite, Miller Lite, Miller High Life and 35 other name-brand beers. That would decimate choices for consumers. MillerCoors supplies 38 percent of the beer sold in Minnesota, and the state is one of the top five markets in the country for the brewing giant.
MillerCoors officials said on Wednesday they intend to fight the state and keep distributing. "We believe we've followed all applicable state laws on this," said Julian Green, director of media relations for MillerCoors. "It is our feeling that if we follow all state laws then we should be permitted and have the right to sell our products in the state."
But Department of Public Safety spokesman Doug Neville said the law is the law. "There's really nothing in the statute that allows us to make an accommodation for anybody," he said.
Retailers, meanwhile, were reduced to helpless spectators Wednesday, in yet another unexpected twist to a budget stalemate that has dragged on for 14 days and touched all corners of Minnesota.
"My advice would be come in and buy it now. Stock up," said John Wolf, owner of Chicago Lake Liquors in Minneapolis. He is unsure how it will affect business, since customers may simply opt for other brands of beer.
At Primetime Sports Bar & Grill in Burnsville, 85 percent of the beer sold is MillerCoors.
"Obviously if it completely cut off, that would make a huge impact on my business," said Dave Sperling, general manager of Primetime.
Eric Shepard, executive editor of the trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights, said he's never heard of a similar precedent in other states and said the situation is "serious" for MillerCoors.