Chilled Beer Sales Likely To Continue Getting The Cold Shoulder From Lawmakers

Jun 18, 2014

Groups pushing for universal cold beer sales were dealt a blow this week when a judge ruled the state had the right to keep its restrictions in place.
Credit Wayan Vota / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcmetroblogger/535670898

Groups pushing Indiana to allow cold beer sales in convenience stores likely face a tough road in the state legislature. 

A federal judge this week ruled against convenience store owners in their lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on cold beer sales by non-liquor stores. 

In a statement, Attorney General Greg Zoeller noted that the proper place for debating the issue is the legislature. 

Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) is the chair of the House Public Policy Committee, which typically hears alcohol regulation bills.  Dermody says he plans to take time this summer to meet with groups on both sides of the issue but he’s noncommittal.

“It would not very smart to say, ‘Hey, today on June 16th, June 17th, we’re going to start and commit to looking at these issues or trying to pass a bill in the next session,” Dermody says.

Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette), who chairs the Senate Public Policy Committee, says changing Indiana’s policy on cold beer sales would be a major shift that he doesn’t think the legislature is willing to make.  But he says that isn’t the case for all alcohol issues.

“I don’t think it’s a huge policy change to evaluate and look at Sunday sales in supermarkets, which is a big day, something of that nature," Alting says. "But I think the expansion of cold beers is enormous.”

Alting says he could foresee the legislature allowing Sunday alcohol sales sometime in the future but it won’t necessarily happen next session.