"Miller Time" in jeopardy in Minnesota

CREATED Jul. 14, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - From the outside looking in, beer-loving Wisconsinites have a few things to say about Minnesota's treatment of their favorite cold beverage.

"Stupid," said Linda Hill. "We wouldn't let that happen."

News spread fast in the Dairy State that the Land of 10,000 Lakes may soon be dry, at least when it comes to MillerCoors products.

That's because state officials claim Miller-Coors failed to properly renew its licensing before the government shut down July First.

"We've been asked to pull our beer in 72 hours. We've informed our distributors and sellers that it is business as usual," said MillerCoors spokesperson, Julian Green.

Green says the beer company did send its paper work in on time. They're now working with state officials to fix the problem, but if nothing is worked out...

"It's a significant hit. Minnesota is one of the top five markets in the United States for us," said Green.

But a budget deal may be close with Minnesota's Democratic Governor and Republican legislators indicating Thursday they had a deal; all they need is legislative approval.

Tim Berger runs Otto's Beverage Center in Brown Deer where MillerCoors makes up about half of their beer products.

"I couldn't imagine taking 50-percent of your beer off the floor or out of your cooler," Berger said.

And with MillerCoors providing nearly 40-percent of the beer market in Minnesota, company officials hope cooler heads prevail.

"That would be good news," said Green.

He says jobs are not in jeopardy because of the licensing snafu, but the company is considering filing a lawsuit if the issue is not settled.