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Cold Beer Expansion Bill Fails In Senate Committee

Supporters of the cold beer expansion bill stand outside the Indiana Senate Chamber to watch the committee hearing.

A push to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell cold beer was dealt Wednesday what’s likely a death blow for the 2018 session.

A Senate committee overwhelmingly rejected a bill to expand cold beer sales after hours of testimony from groups on both sides of the debate.

Crown Liquors owner Jon Sinder represents many of the state’s liquor stores – which, along with restaurants – are the only ones allowed to sell cold beer for carryout. He says the cold beer bill would pull the rug out from under his industry.

“A vote to expand cold beer sales is a vote to help gas stations put liquor stores out of business,” Sinder says.

But Indiana Grocery and Convenience Store Association President Joe Lackey says his members just want a level playing field.

“Which is more important – groceries going out of business where people don’t have food, or liquor stores going out of business?” Lackey says.

The committee voted 9 to 1 against the bill.

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