| MINNEAPOLIS, July 13
MINNEAPOLIS, July 13 MillerCoors, the combined
U.S. operations of SABMiller PLC SAB.L and Molson Coors
Brewing Co (TAP.N), may be forced to halt sales of its beers in
Minnesota due to the state government shutdown, a state
spokesman said on Wednesday.
MillerCoors, the second largest brewer in the United
States, failed to get its brand license to sell 39 brands in
Minnesota renewed before a government shutdown over a budget
impasse began with the new fiscal year on July 1.
"Without that brand label registration, their distribution
and sales aren't allowed to continue," Doug Neville, a state
public safety department spokesman, said.
The registration allows the manufacturing, distribution and
sales of the MillerCoors brands in the state, meaning that they
would also have to be pulled from liquor stores, bars and
restaurants where they are sold, Neville said.
"We reached out to MillerCoors to talk to them about their
brand label registration being expired and requested from them
a plan to discontinue distribution and sales of their products
in the state," Neville said. "We are hoping within a couple of
days to have a clear idea what that looks like."
Samuel Adams brewer Boston Beer Co Inc's (SAM.N)
registration is good until the end of the year, according to a
company spokeswoman. Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev
(ABI.BR) did not have an immediate comment.
MillerCoors spokesman Julian Green said on Wednesday the
company was working with the state to resolve the situation.
"With 39 brands at stake in one of our largest markets in
the country during the most important selling period, in the
summer, we do not take the business of ensuring proper state
licenses lightly," Green said.
Green said MillerCoors had filed paperwork to renew the
three-year brand licenses by the June 13 due date, actually
overpaying initially, and submitted a second check by June 27.
The renewal was never issued and neither check was processed,
The renewal fees amount to $30 per brand, or $1,170.
MillerCoors' beers range from Miller Lite and Coors Light to
Blue Moon, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell.
"We believe it is unfortunate that we and other state
licensees including retailers and other brands are being
impacted by the state shutdown when we followed all applicable
laws," Green said.
(Additional reporting by Martinne Geller in New York; Editing
by Richard Chang)