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Holcomb Signs Measure Closing Cold Beer Loophole

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Current law only allows liquor stores and restaurants to sell cold beer.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law legislation closing the legal loophole used by the Ricker’s convenience store chain to sell cold beer.

“I sign this bill with the understanding we need to review and make common-sense changes to Indiana’s alcohol laws,” Holcomb said in a statement.

Convenience stores in Indiana are allowed to sell warm beer and cold wine, but not cold beer. Jay Ricker, head of the chain, had obtained permits allowing cold beer sales at two locations after installing seating and serving made-to-order food.

In a statement, Ricker’s owner Jay Ricker says while he thinks the alcohol bill should have been vetoed, he’s heartened that Holcomb acknowledged the need for a common-sense review of the state’s alcohol laws.

The bill lawmakers passed this session requires that 60 percent of alcohol sales be for on-site drinking in order for permits to be renewed.

It exempts fraternal clubs, golf courses and marinas, among other businesses. It does not exempt Ricker’s.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith contributed to this report. 

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