Give Now

Cold Beer Expansion Fails To Pass Commission Vote

The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Photo: Lauren Chapman (IPB News)

The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

A state study commission working to modernize Indiana’s alcohol laws did not get the support needed to recommend expanding cold beer sales.

The vote came after months of testimony and debate, and marks the final meeting of the Alcohol Code Revision Commission.

The proposal, among many involving alcohol laws, would have recommended allowing cold beer sales in more businesses, like convenience stores.

Commission members voted 8-7 in favor, coming one vote short of the required majority.

The convenience chain Ricker’s sparked this year’s debate on cold beer, when it secured restaurant permits that allow cold beer and hard liquor for carryout.

Some opponents to the change say selling cold beer in more places would lead to increased crime. And some argue it would make it easier for underage drinkers to get access to beer.

But Ricker’s owner Jay Ricker says the state choosing who can and cannot sell cold beer creates a legal – but unfair – monopoly.

“You heard in there today, people defending, ‘Well it’s not a monopoly.’ Well it is. When you only have one channel of trade who can sell cold beer, whether they have one store in a town or whether there’s 40 stores and they have 4 or 5 owners, it’s still a monopoly,” Ricker says.

Ricker says he’s confident, after hearing from lawmakers in the Statehouse, that a bill expanding cold beer sales could pass during the upcoming legislative session.

Former State Sen. Beverly Gard led the commission. She says their report to lawmakers will reflect the closeness of the vote on cold beer.

Grocery and liquor stores partnered recently to advocate for legalized alcohol sales on Sunday, while opposing cold beer expansion.

The study commission voted last month to recommend Sunday sales.

In its final meeting the group voted for a number of other recommendations, including a 25 percent increase to taxes on alcohol, and a law requiring sales clerks who handle alcohol sales to be 21 years old.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

  • lastcamp2

    I seriously doubt whether a substantial portion of the public has any objection to having beer sold cold, anywhere. So, the problem has nothing to do with our government acting in a democratic way through a democratic process. It all has to do with the usual: pandering to business interests. It just happens that there is a conflict among the various businesses.
    And of course this is a Republican administration, the same Republican party that worships and adores the “free market.” Of course there is not real free market. It is controlled and manipulated by the class of wealth, business, and power, and has little or nothing to do with the public interest.
    It is a Big Club, and you and I aren’t members. It happens that the Club has an unseemly internal dispute that disregards what the public may want or need.

  • chad hatten Albuquerque

    tragic news

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook