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St. Paul bars offer idled workers free beer

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ST. PAUL – A group of St. Paul bars is trying to help federal employees cope with the government shutdown by serving up free beer.

Four downtown bars said Tuesday that workers with proper government ID would have their first round paid for on the first day of the shutdown.

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The city’s convention bureau, Visit Saint Paul, set up the happy-hour event as a way to show appreciation for workers being idled by a political impasse in Washington. Minnesota has more than 18,000 federal employees, but it’s not clear how many were told to stay home.

The city’s Democratic mayor, Chris Coleman, is promoting the giveaway too. He tweeted that “beer is essential to dealing with the shutdown.”

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